Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


Richard Archer


Spelling is an ignored wound in American education. It is so ignored that university teacher-preparation programs do not even include a single course on how to teach spelling. Lacking professional guidance, teachers concoct a variety of approaches. Some present a list of words and tell their students to memorize them for Friday’s test. Others have their students finger-paint the words. Others dwell on complex rules, such as: “In monosyllabic words ending in a terminal consonant, double the terminal consonant before adding –ed or -ing.” Spelling is so ignored that California’s entire content standards for eighth grade spelling instruction is four words long: Use correct spelling conventions. That’s it. One sentence. Four words. No wonder students cannot spell.