Teachers urged to collaborate to improve English spelling

Principal Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Lesego Morake has urged English language teachers to collaborate with Spelling Bee Botswana to improve learners’s proper use of English in schools.

Officially welcoming the teachers at a workshop held at University of Botswana (UB) last week Friday, Morake said his ministry would welcome any initiative that enhances what teachers are doing in class.

He said although the issue of correct spelling is paramount to good academic performance, learners are faced with challenges brought about by information technology.

“The use of social media such as  Facebook and Twitter has led to the erosion of proper English as users, learners included, tend to shorten words affecting their ability to spell words correctly,” he said.

Morake said while spelling competitions will be done by learners in secondary schools, their intention is to see the initiative rolled out to primary schools as well.

For her part, Spelling Bee Botswana Chairperson, Tshepang Thibedi, said although spelling is a challenge to many people, it is amazing to see it being taken for granted.

She said she was inspired by the movie,      “ Akeelah and the Bee” to start a spelling club at school.

“I started the  spelling club when I was a student at Naledi secondary school. Our aim today is to roll out the exercise to all corners of the country.“I believe the exercise will help learners acquire vocabulary as well as word construction,” she said.

When giving a report on previous spelling competitions, North West Regional Chairperson, Lenyeletse Fohlane, said the spelling initiative, which was piloted in his area, was an overwhelming success with learners showing a lot of enthusiasm.

He said not only does spelling help them become better communicators. It also helps them use dictionaries to research.  Participants fully embraced the initiative and agreed to work on modalities of including all learners in schools even those with learning difficulties  such as  hearing impairment.

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