Impact of Using Word Processors

I keeps on becoming i

I keeps on becoming i

Since commencing blogging, I have found that nearly every student fails to put in capital letters.  The frequently used word “I” is constantly being shown as “i”. Few sentences start with a captial letter. This really annoys me, as I am trying to get students to use professional language styles in their blogs.

However, yesterday I worked with the SW Zone of SLAV teachers (State Library Association of Victoria) and one librarian made a pertinent comment “They are lazy and so used to using a word processor eg MS Word, which automatically corrects the start of sentences with capitals and changes i into I for them. What do you think and how can we reinforce appropriate spelling? I am sure that she is right. What observations have you made?


6 responses to “Impact of Using Word Processors

  1. Kia ora e Anne!

    You talk of automatic devices causing students to be lazy in MS Word. My observations are that there are some automatic devices that are simply not being used at all, by students or others, including teachers.

    We use Outlook at work. I set mine to automatic spellcheck so that I cannot send a message without it going through the spellchecker. But many of my colleagues obviously do not do this and that leaves me wondering.

    While I don’t always approve the recommended corrections (for a number of reasons) the point is that the automation serves a useful purpose. It also teaches me to spell some words correctly, believe it or not.

    I feel that IF the automatic devices are used appropriately, everybody can gain something from them.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  2. I found the “blackboard race” game effective for looking at this issue 🙂 Break students into 2 teams and number pairs. Call a number, ask a question, and the 2 students with that number must speed-walk-appropriately-for-a-classroom to the board, write the answer, put the cap back on the marker and speed-walk-appropriately-for-a-classroom back to their seats. Team members can gain bonus points by giving encouragement (or in my LOTE classes by heckling in the target language as well).

    The first correct answer wins, after the contestant is in their seat.

    Students cannot get help from their team-mates whilst at the board, only while at their seats.

    This works well for focusing on spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. because you can ask questions that require full sentence answers. Alternatively, you can get students to write questions on the board to an answer that you give. Lots of things. Points are not awarded unless the sentence is grammatically perfect 🙂

    Why do I recommend this game? If a contestant returns to their seat with an imperfect sentence on the board, the teacher/leader doesn’t say anything about why they’re not getting a point… just “nearly” / “almost” etc. until the group figures out the problem and the contestant fixes it! It becomes very frustrating for teams that have missed a capital letter and the other group has copied their answer, but with correct punctuation… 🙂

    (Oh, and heckling in the TL is fun too!)

  3. I couldn’t agree more! I spend most of my marking life circling words that should have capitals (especially beginnings of sentences and ‘I’). But I also blame a whole generation of teachers who seem to have refused to teach grammar. Yes, it’s not the most exciting subject to teach but it’s lack is having massive repercussions!

  4. Lazy, maybe in some cases, but mostly I think they just don’t focus on it as being important and there is the idea spell-check will fix this annoying hindrance to their keyboarding strokes. It is always great to point out problems with spell-checker. My favourite story – I once received some emailed work from a very nice young boy, who did not apologise for inconvenience but was worried about incontinence. ( His or mine?) I did not have the heart to explain that one to him.

  5. I agree that professional writing is very important for appearing to be a competent writer.

    My first thought when reading this post was why don’t they just add the technology for auto-correcting to blogging software? Wont that be coming soon?

    I still think it should be taught to some degree – but, would that make our lives a little bit easier?

  6. Hi Anne,
    As the teacher who made this comment, I just want to clarify that I don’t think that our students are lazy, but programs such as MSWord make us all lazy in that in capitalises our sentences and our i becomes I. I know it certainly makes me lazy as I know it will auto correct. Yes, there needs to be more use of autocorrecting devices; there also needs to be more teaching to reinforce spelling and punctuation. Are our students aware of these devices?

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