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Pupils make more spelling mistakes

Research finds primary youngsters are doing less well in dictation tests - with nearly 30% more errors

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.
Photo: Chlorophylle -

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