Inés Fernández-Ordóñez, member of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) and a professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid, she detects spelling errors in her classroom. "It's terrible, but it's even very common among my philology students to make mistakes. And, worst of all, they do not know how to write. I think it has to do with not being read, writing practices are lacking, dictations … ". Stories like that of Fernández-Ordóñez, who drops the grade to his students, explain that the spelling is one of the reasons of which 9.6% of the places of professor of secondary have been deserted in the oppositions of last July. There had never been an educational volume in Spain like the current one – 41% of young people between 25 and 34 years old have higher education, compared to 43% in the OECD-, but the spelling level of graduates is very much improved. And if those who teach make mistakes, schoolchildren will repeat them.
PP Minister José Ignacio Wert expressly introduced the dictates in the curricular development of the Organic Law for Educational Improvement (Lomce) in 2013, like France did with this exercise and mental calculation. There are specialists who maintain that it is reading how the problem of faults is tackled because the signs are visualized, but the defenders of the dictation argue that it trains the sustained attention, the concentration and serves to discover the errors.
An extended argument among secondary school teachers is that children are not suspended anymore – and not just because of the spelling – because the Educational Inspectorate acts and does not allow it. Javier Herrera, of the Association of Teachers of the Andalusian Institute (APIA), assures that the inspection makes decisions against the academic criteria. Last year, the Association of Education Inspectors (Adide) asked Congress to approve the baccalaureate with a failing.
The academic Inés Fernández-Ordóñez raises how to react to faults and sometimes "pretty loose" essays. "If we were strict many people would not approve. The levels of demand have dropped a lot. Rafael Lapesa suspended 60% of the class and nothing happened, but now you're a bad teacher. "
"I think that many secondary school teachers, and sometimes university, ignore the faults when they understand that the content is correct," academic Ignacio Bosque, language professor at Complutense, is surprised. "I do not do it. It is wrong to do so. I am not in agreement with letting go of serious editorial errors. Some teachers think that the errors are corrected by the word processors, and they understand that the syntax is unimportant. I think the opposite. My teacher, Fernando Lázaro Carreter, said that if the expression is poor, the content is also poor, whether you like it or not. "
The academic Carme Riera, penalizes "many faults" of its Literature students in the Autonomous University of Barcelona. "People do not practice orthographic rules, and many times they do that work the correctors of the telephone and the emails and they are not fixed", sustains Riera. He also regrets the "nefarious" and continuous influence of English.
The professor of History Javier Herrera, of the Association of Teachers of the Institute of Andalusia (APIA), recognizes that spelling errors are a persistent problem that comes to light in almost all the cloisters, as their solution should be a common task of all faculty. In elementary school with the Lomce language classes have been increased by 20%. The key is in that educational period. "We differentiate perfectly from which center children come from because of their maturity in this field. If they had a teacher who insisted on writing well, "says Herrera.
The prestige of the language
"Not everything is achieved with more language classes, but with a social prestige of good expression and good writing. And the problem comes from that young people, above all, and in social networks, voluntarily write badly because if you do not look at the environment badly, " says the writer Julio Llamazares.
In the last oppositions to high school teacher, FP or language schools, to which 200,000 people presented themselves, the courts met with aspirants who wrote shortening words (tb, pq) or who used colloquial terms ("roll of", " in plan "…). The Madrid preparation academies alerted their students that they will lose 0.10 points for each abbreviation or for putting the slash in the adverbs that end in being (for example, complete /), in the same way that they took notes in class. "If you do not handle the instruments of expression, you end up impoverishing your thought or at least its transmission. Writing and speaking well serves to express your ideas better, it is not a whim ", alerts Llamazares.
The Ministry of Education intends to "reform the opposition system" after the last call with 1,984 unfilled places. But it is the communities that publish the evaluation criteria and then the courts have the power to include others of their own such as penalizing the faults. "I think it's right that this is required of aspiring teachers. You have to have a requirement with teachers of high school, which perhaps has not been for a few years, "says Fernández-Ordóñez.