I recently heard a teacher complain, “Children don’t learn to spell now; they just learn to spell-check.”

Sadly, there is a substantial measure of truth in this, with children neglecting development of their own spelling skills or abandoning intelligible spelling altogether.

This is not a criticism of technology, whose development has brought so many immense benefits. But, as psychologists know, when children learn to read and write, and learn how to spell the words they are reading and writing, numerous centres all over their brains are being activated and stimulated.

Take away that stimulation by removing the necessity of thinking about spelling and the activation of those centres is reduced.

It follows that inactive neurones will atrophy and important abilities, imparted by the process of education will, be lost.

Dawn is aware of this and your Spelling Bee contest has sought to keep alive this essential capability and keep the brains of our children active, thereby assisting the processes of education.

We at Oxford University Press regard the promotion of educational excellence as our core mission. We have found our eight-year long partnership with Dawn n this competition to have been an important relationship and a very happy one. Keep up the good work.

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