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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Our youth can't spell anymore

This morning, I read an article in my newspaper about the inability of youngster to write properly. The complaint came from the universities, where professors notice how bad 18-year-olds write. "They think they're using the social media when writing a paper," one prof remarks.

As a teacher of Dutch and English, I can only agree. In the course of my long career, I've seen spelling become less important, even in the options Latin-Greek, or Latin-Modern Languages. If I'd take a test of spelling right now, I'm sure about 30% of my classes would fail the test. How often do I not see a 'D/T' fault? (The "d" or "t" belong to the ending of a verb, but it takes some cleverness to know when to use either of them.)

Also a lot of mistakes a made in the national newspapers. Every day I can spot one or other when reading through the articles. I wonder who the editors are? Don't they have a training in languages, as should be? And even in subtexts at the national news I've spotted a 'd/t' mistake more than once!

Another problems with our younger generation is that their general knowledge is getting less. Once one of my students gave up 'Cairo' as the capital of France!!! (Well, this is not only so for us in Belgium - when watching game shows on BBC I often hear how little knowledge the English have of everything that doesn't belong to their island.)

My generation belongs to the lucky ones. We can spell properly AND we know about the world around us. I know history, geography, biology and physics. I can calculate and make up accounts but must confess math doesn't interest me at all...

What about you?

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