SCHOOL pupils' spelling is worse today than it was 20 years ago, researchers have found.
The dictation and handwriting test is one of the fundamentals of French schooling and a study for the Education Ministry has found that modern-day pupils in CM2 are making nearly 30% more mistakes.
Researchers studied the progress of CM2 pupils between 1987 and 2007 and found that in 1987 pupils made, on average, 11 mistakes in a dictation of about 10 lines.
However, in 2007, that had risen to an average of 15 mistakes - and the number of pupils making more than 15 mistakes had risen from 26% to 46%.
Grammar errors also increased, from an average of seven in 1987 to 11 in 2007; with pupils failing to conjugate verbs correctly and not matching tenses.
Now, Education Minister Luc Chatel has sent a circular to primary teachers spelling out the importance of mastering orthographe and warning that it is the keystone of French education.
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