Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Spelling, Parents and Computers

There is a lot of "writing" in our little digital world. This is daunting for a lot of my students who are starting their computer voyage later in life. Most of them were not born in Canada. They speak English very well but, they never had a need to write English formally. Therefore, they are anxious over all the spelling and grammar mistakes that they are going to make.

I wanted to share with you some of the things we discuss in class to help my students get more comfortable and confident with computers and "writing" :). Perhaps, this may be something you can use for your parents if you suspect that this might be the reason for their resistance to computers.

  1. The most common complaint I get is, "How can I search on the Internet if I can't spell?"  In response, I demonstrate to them how Google is very good at predicting search queries -- even misspelled ones:). The students are very impressed at Google's predictive powers and by how little is required to enter for a query.
  2. I  show the students that it is possible to use the computer and surf the Internet in their native language.
  3. We discuss spell check and the visual cues for misspelled words like the squiggly red line :).
  4. I show my class that most of us in the digital world are bad spellers and have committed terrible acts against grammar (including me :))  and any email sent by them will be accepted with love and without judgement by their family members :).

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