Low-attaining teenagers 'make more spelling mistakes than 30 years ago'

Students of all abilities are now using less complex sentence structures than in 1980, new research shows .

Lower-attaining GCSE pupils are making more spelling errors and using fewer semi-colons than similar students more than 30 years ago, a new study shows.


And teachers focusing on pupils on the C/D borderline and above at the age of 16 may have led to the weakest writers not getting the support they need, an academic has suggested.


Research by exam group Cambridge Assessment, which looks at how writing in exams has changed since 1980, found that correct spelling and the use of semicolons had declined among low-attaining GCSE English students by 2014.


The report concludes: "The advent of electronic media for much everyday writing, with its concomitant reliance on automatic checking and correction against conventions of writing, makes the world of the 16-year old in 2014 very different from their counterparts in 1980."


Today's study also shows that:

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