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Spelling Tests – Beneficial Or Not?


One of the questions I often get asked by parents is – are weekly spelling tests helping my child's spelling? The simple answer to that question is no - on their own, spelling tests will not help most children improve with their spelling ability.

If children learn a set of spellings on Sunday night for a test on Monday morning, most children will forget most of their words by the end of the week. The challenge is to commit the correct spelling patterns to the long-term memory and the key to this is repetition and consolidation.

For most people, there will be a certain number of words that always cause problems. For me, it is the word restaurant…. I always have to think about it. Do I always get it right? No. Does it stop me writing and enjoying words? No!

One of the hardest things was in 2015 having to downgrade two excellent writers in my class because of their spelling. They were dyslexic and spelling was a challenge for them. Happily now, this has been changed so that spelling does not detract from the overall score achieved in writing. Today, there are plenty of electronic aids to support spelling so if your child is struggling with spelling, keep working on it but not at the expense of their love of language and writing.

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