Hazelynn Rimbar


Recent studies show that spell-checkers help reduce students’ surface errors in writing by flagging spelling errors and giving correct spelling suggestions. This study investigates if the error correction provided by the spell-checker tool in word processors are internalized by students. A quasi-experimental two-group study was conducted on 30 Form 1 students in a school in Kuching, Sarawak.  The learners were given dictations which contained words listed as commonly misspelled words according to Oxford University Press (2012). The experimental group were given three dictations- one in which they used word processors and allowed to use the spell-checker tool and the control group was given two dictations, both handwritten. The data gathered were analysed using a software for statistical analysis. This study found that, while the spell-checker helped the learners revise their spelling on one dictation exercise, learners still made the same errors in their spelling after the use of spell-checkers. Therefore it argues that while spell-checkers help eliminate surface errors, they have very little influence on correcting the errors on the cognitive level.


Keywords: Spell-checkers, word processors, error correction, dictation, spelling

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