Being sensitive when marking student spelling

It's important to be sensitive as to why students are making spelling mistakes, language and literacy specialist Lyn Stone says in today's video.

In fact, when it comes to marking student work, Stone says it's simply not fair to hand work back covered in red marker if the student hasn't also received any assistance.

‘It's not a very fair way to treat it so it's your starting point that's most important here,' she says.

It's also a good idea to ask yourself why it is something you're focusing on. ‘You might want to look at that and say, “Is that something we're focusing on? Have I given them explicit instruction in spelling so therefore am I asking them to improve their spelling or is there no reason it should be in the rubric?”'

Stone also suggests questioning whether this student has simply not corrected or edited their work – a completely different scenario that would be treated differently.


Lyn Stone will be presenting a Language for Life workshop on 2 June 2017. Click on the link for more details.

Her books Spelling for Life and Language for Life are available for purchase instore at the ACER bookshop in Melbourne.

Reflect: When correcting work or exams, how do you ensure that the feedback is delivered in a sensitive and useful way? What extra assistance is given to students to make sense of the feedback?

Have you considered why spelling is part of your rubric? Do you need to remove spelling from the assessment rubric for some students in order to help them?