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Schools need to shun spelling bees which are being pushed into English medium schools of metro cities
Many language teachers praise the virtues of consulting dictionaries and word power books. Often, it is drummed into the heads of students that this will improve their vocabulary. However, meaningful teachers and linguists denounce such acts as part of good teaching since such activities make language learning mechanical.

Last year, spelling competitions among students across major cities in India were held by advocating that such competitions create an awareness of the 'necessity to spell and pronounce words correctly' and 'enthusiasm amongst students to learn new words'.

However, most well meaning linguists and pedagogues hold that the undue stress on use of dictionaries, newspapers, word power books, etc, promotes the worst sort of rote learning and weird study habits. Students are made to bury their heads in dictionaries to memorise the spelling of words we use on a regular basis. And, this thing has been linked city-wise, state-wide and national spelling bees – the trend which is catching up in India too and promoted by publishing industry.

The essence of any good education is to know how to access and utilise reference sources not memorising words, spellings and useless facts. Even in current information age, we seem to be promoting the learning habits reminiscent of bad system of education of cramming spelling. It is sheer waste of human brain power, many educators think.

In India, we are trying to copy the spelling bees, the popular culture of America and wasting ourselves on complex and strange orthography of English language wherein pronunciation or sound symbols do not match the spelling.

Schools in India need to shun spelling bees since they have extremely low educational and pedagogic value.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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