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Children proficient in 'pterodactyl', but struggle to spell simple words

30/10/2012 Joanna
Children make few mistakes when writing complex words such as 'pterodactyl' and 'archaeologist', but fall down on more simple words, new research has revealed.

An Oxford University Press (OUP) analysis of more than 33 million words written by pupils aged seven to 13 found that school-aged children instead get tripped up by seemingly simpler constructions, including 'doesn't' and 'surprise'.

It is believed that this is because they take the time to look up how to spell more difficult words, while paying less attention to more common elements of the English language.

Vineeta Gupta, head of children's dictionaries at the OUP, said that the findings could have important implications for those in teaching jobs.

"These findings are fascinating and give us an opportunity to target the areas children need more support in," she told the Telegraph.

"Spellcheckers can be useful but may not provide all the support a child needs to distinguish confusables such as their/there and cloths/clothes."

Posted by Charlotte MichaelsADNFCR-2164-ID-801478772-ADNFCR
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