Being a better speller is still a valuable skill to aquire! Mostly this is because, outside of school, when you write something for someone that is full of spelling errors, it will make you appear uneducated. This is not a good thing if you are applying for a job!
First impressions count for a lot ... more than you might believe! You don't want people thinking you're not too bright ... especially when you aren't, right?
So how do you become a better speller? Here's how!
Let's look at the average high-school student, who is an average speller. On any given page in this person's notebook you can probably find at least three or four misspelled words. And we're not talking about 'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis' here, ... just your everyday average words like separate , angle, special, or Grande Prairie; words that you see and use every day!
So why are they spelled incorrectly?
First, let's make the assumption that they were copied from the blackboard as notes. Hopefully they were spelled correctly there. Although being able to spell well has never been a requirement for becoming a teacher, most teachers see it as their responsibility to ensure that their students are good spellers, so they make an effort to ensure that they make few if any mistakes themselves. So we can probably assume that the words were correctly spelled, on the blackboard.
So what does that mean? Very simply, the student was too lazy to make sure they copied the words correctly off the blackboard!
That's all there is to it! Ridiculous, isn't it? You won't become a better speller unless you make sure you always spell words correctly when you write them! You have to make the effort to become a better speller.
Many people will claim they are 'lousy spellers'. Really they're just lazy spellers! In fact, there are very few people who could not become better spellers if they would only make the effort to always make sure that what they are copying is copied correctly! This is all the practice you need. Just the act of actually writing the word correctly will help you remember it. The more times you make the effort to ensure that your copying is accurate, the better a speller you will become.
If you are writing something from scratch, and are pretty sure you are making spelling mistakes, make the effort to get the correct spelling! Ask someone. Ask your teacher. Look in a dictionary.
The effort you make in ensuring that your words are spelled correctly today will make it easier to spell them correctly tomorrow.
What are the benefits of becoming a better speller?
You may be wondering whether, in this era of the family computer, and 'spell-checking' word processors, the need for spelling skills is perhaps less than it was. Maybe not even important at all!
In fact, you may be right. But not yet!
Having good spelling skills may no longer be important in the future, ... probably in your lifetime. Its importance has certainly become less within the last ten years. Anything you type on a computer can be easily made relatively free of errors automatically, even if you are a terrible speller.
This is somewhat like the situation in Math, where square roots are no longer done by hand, since everyone has access to a calculator. Pen and paper square root extraction is a discarded skill that nobody needs to know any more.
But we are not at that stage with computers yet. You do not have unlimited access to a word processing computer whenever you want.
As long as the written word still exists, and is used at all in the real world, spelling skills will still be important.