Originally Posted by ultramarina
I also, honestly, feel that spell-check and word-prediction have helped my non-2e child improve her spelling tremendously.

Do you think so? I'm not trying to be snarky. It just seems like the skill of spelling is in perpetual decline, which I suppose I would partly attribute to spell-check and word prediction.

I really do think it's helped my dd improve her spelling tremendously. Really do. There are (I think) different ways that people learn, including learning spelling. I love to read and spelling comes easily to me, so I think I picked up my spelling skills from reading and I'm good at spelling. My dd, otoh, loves to write - she's really *really* good at composing stories and her writing is full of beautiful imagery and creative thinking. She also loves loves LOVES to read. Yet she is not by nature a good speller - it takes her work. As she's spent time writing using the keyboard and spell check and word prediction her ability to spell well (even when she's using handwriting) has improved dramatically. It's not due to studying for spelling tests either - her spelling has improved across the board, on words she's never had for spelling tests. I proof-read her papers for her when she's finished to check her spelling and grammar (at her request), and so I've watched it evolve. It's really kind of cool.

I've talked to both my dd and my dysgraphic ds about this, and they both feel that spell-check and word prediction have helped them become better at spelling.

Dysgraphic kids like my ds can sometimes memorize spelling words for spelling tests and do really well - my ds routinely aced all of his spelling tests, but he didn't retain memory of what he studied for spelling tests once the week was past (note - this is not the same for all dysgraphic people). Dysgraphia is basically a challenge with developing automaticity - dysgraphic people need to repeat repeat repeat and repeat again to learn skills that take neurotypical kids very little repetition to become automatic. This shows up most often in handwriting, but that challenge with needing to repeat repeat repeat because of lack of automaticity can show up in other areas like spelling. And that's what spell check and word prediction gives my ds - he sees the words spelled correctly more often and over a much longer extended period of time than with a spelling test - and as he's worked with the tools over the years, I've seen that his ability to spell is improving.

Why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you?

One reason to learn to spell is that if you can't spell *close* enough to the word you want to write, the machine will not recognize it. That's a problem for some dysgraphic kids. Another reason to learn to spell is to be able to spell correctly when you handwrite a personal note or leave a handwritten sticky note for someone else to read. Another reason to learn to spell is to increase reading fluency and comprehension. I'm guessing there are quite a few more reasons too.

I don't know if spelling skills are in decline in general - I am a good speller surrounded in my household by people (adults and kids) who can't spell - but I can't blame that on computers, it's genetics as far as I can tell with my kids and dh smile