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[Susan notes: When a newspaper has fun trashing teachers, we must not let them get away with it.]

Submitted to San Francisco Chronicle but not published

To the editor

The Chronicle gives readers the false impression that teachers do not care about spelling anymore ("Teachers say correct spelling iz no big

deel," November 22). This is incorrect. The current view of many professionals, which is supported by research, that that writers

should be concerned about correct spelling and punctuation after their ideas are firmly on the paper. Overconcern with spelling while

writing can disrupt the flow of ideas. Spelling corrections are made, but only at the final stage (the editing stage) of writing. Research

also shows that a great deal (but not all) of our spelling competence comes from reading. This reduces the amount of direct instruction

teachers need to do, and frees up time for other areas of the curriculum.

There has been a great deal of emphasis recently on basing our teaching methodology on scientific studies. We have done just that.

Stephen Krashen, Emeritus Professor, USC

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