A group of Madrid teachers get together to discuss the problems the English language poses for both non-native and native speakers.
I, I was reading recently that they want to change English exams and actually not give you negative marks for having spelling mistakes because it's not as important as knowing the actual English. It’s good and bad, spelling is quite difficult in English I think a lot of things are spelled quite differently to the way we say them, but it’s really important at the same time.
That's a big change in education because I remember when I was a kid, I mean, the weekly spelling test was a big source of stress and the best speller in the class was kind of a hero, you know, even spelling bees…
They were really smug.
Yeah, very smug. But really this is sort of interesting.
Yeah, yeah well I guess we're in a technology age now so we've got the f7 button to do the spelling grammar checks, so they say well these days you can kind of press that and do that.
One of the problems is that kids when they’re writing like SMS messages, you know, they, they use all these abbreviations and they don't know how to write the real word.
And on top of it most young people don't read so you know they watch movies or whatever and they don’t do enough reading.
Yeah, it’s true.
I find, I mean, I’m not as good as spelling now as I was when I was a kid…
No, neither am I.
… I don’t have, I don’t have the weekly spelling drill…
… and you know, you grow up, then I don’t know if you learn other languages you start to get confused with the one m in accommodate or two, I’m not sure, because, you know, it’s slightly different.
Yeah, sometimes your visual memory fails you so you write it one way, your writing might be correct
but you think… this is not right.
Hang on a second. That doesn’t look right!
Then you have to ask the students. It’s okay?
Google it, Google it, that’s what I do. I just Google everything.
I think it’s really important that children, everybody continues to spell things properly because even if you look at it from the angle that English is the international language if you like, everyone, if every native person changes the spelling or disregards the spelling, how can anyone else learn a foreign language?
And there will be anarchy.
It’s impossible, totally impossible, you know.
Does anyone know any memory aids with spelling? I remember i before e except c…
Yeah, that’s what I remember.
… except when there’s neighbouring…
They are like little tricks people learn.
The problem with English, though, is so often they have the rules, but the rules aren’t really rules, are just trends [Yeah.], so you have the general rule and then you have a hundred exceptions.
This occurs, yes.