Why learn to spell? We've got spell-checkers now!

Do we really need to bother with correct spelling when there are computer spell-checkers?
Sure, they will help, but what about all those times when you have to write by hand?

In schools, colleges and in work-place training many tests and exams still have to be written by hand. Good spelling will help you get good marks.

So is it only when handwriting that we need to take care with spelling?
When we are using a keyboard will the spell-checker do all the work?
Don't you believe it!

There are thousands of words which will fool a computer spell-check.
In English there are many words which sound exactly the same but have different spellings for different meanings.

For example:

I don't eat meat Pleased to meet you.

These words are called homophones from the Greek words;
homo: the same and phonos: sound.

Some more examples:


Most Spellzone units end with some work on words the computer spell-checker would not spot:

  • You will see the meaning of each word, with an example of its use.
  • There are 'Learning Tips' to help you remember which spelling
    to use.
  • The teaching pages are followed by extra practice tests, so you
    can check your memory.

A last word on spell checkers:

The computer would not spot any of the mistakes in this poem. How many can you spot?

word lists   word lists

An owed to the spell chequer

by Dr Jerrold H. Zar of Northern Illinois University

Reproduced by kind permission of The Journal of Irreproducible Results

I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your shore reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

... and there are 7 more verses like this.

To read the rest of the poem, click here

word lists   word lists

There are 25 mistakes in the title and the first two verses of this poem - but as they are all real words, the computer spell-checker would not spot them. The author says his complete poem has 225 words, 127 of which are wrong but would not be picked out by a spell checker.

For more information please see:
Information for teachers and tutors
Information for administrators, e.g. how to set up students accounts
Spelling and Dyslexia
Spelling as part of an English language course
Adult training

Enjoy using Spellzone!

Spellzone Guide Home Page

Three steps to spelling success...

1. The Spelling Ability Test
Take the test to get a baseline score
and a personal course pathway.
2. Spelling Course
Work through your personal course
pathway based on phonics progression.
3. Word Lists
1000s of targeted lists or your own to
use with fun activities and worksheets.

Find out more >>

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"Thank goodness for Spellzone during this remote learning phase. The site is easy for students to navigate independently and they're really enjoying the activities and spelling games. You get an awful lot for your money with Spellzone. Really reassuring is the very prompt response with helpdesk queries. I've very rarely needed the helpdesk, but when I have, the issue has been addressed and sorted within a very short time."

Sarah Taggart, Oasis Academy Lord's Hill