Ginger: A Helpful Tool for Improving Spelling and Grammar

by Tonia Malone on May 20, 2014

“Today in studies that claim the Internet is ruining our lives, the BBC informs us that auto-correct and spellcheckers have turned us into a bunch of illiterate idiots. But our spelling has been degrading for much longer than iPhone auto-correct has been around. In a survey of more than 2,000 British people, one third of the participants could not spell ‘definitely’ and two-thirds could not spell ‘separate.’ While that does sound scary, the survey doesn’t indicate whether spelling is rising or falling in Britannia. But the results have led the group that commissioned the study, the Mencap’s Spellathon Championships, to a headline-grabbing conclusion: Auto-correct is making us stupid.” (WireBy Rebecca GreenfieldMay 22, 2012)

Some computer and mobile environments have built-in spell checkers and/or auto-correction, but those built-in spell checkers are not always helpful or even accurate.

If spell checkers are just not good enough or auto-correct is replacing your words, for example: 

Autocorrect

If you have students in your class struggling with grammar and spelling, the built-in grammar or auto-correction tools may not be supporting their needs. For example, student’s with learning disabilities (such as dyslexia), will find Ginger to be very effective. Ginger was primarily developed for helping people with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Most dyslexic people’s spelling errors are so far from the correct word that spell checkers are unable to identify the correct spelling. Also, if the student has reading difficulties, the Reader tool can read the word choices, helping the student pick the correct word. Ginger also corrects misused words, that traditional spell checkers do not.

What is Ginger?

GingerWheel

Ginger is a proofreading application that corrects spelling and grammar mistakes. Better than Spellcheck, it compares the context of the complete sentence to similar sentences on the web. 

“Based on the context of complete sentences, Ginger Grammar Checker uses patent-pending technology to correct grammar mistakes, misused words, and spelling mistakes with unmatched accuracy.”

GingerGrammar

Ginger software provides free browser plug-ins for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE (Windows).  While writing within the browser, Ginger automatically highlights any typos or grammar errors that you’ve made in the text box. For Chrome users, download the Google Chrome Ap. Text can be copied into the text box and Ginger will provide grammar, spelling and sentence rephrasing assistance. 

Ginger software also works with Window’s Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint). The free download tool provides spelling, grammar, and sentence rephrasing. Ginger is currently working on the Mac Microsoft Office tools, but the release date has not been posted.

GingervsWord

If you purchase the premium license, then the Text Reader and the Personal Trainer tools also work. Text Reader will read the electronic text so you can hear your written words. The Personal Trainer analyzes your writing in order to identify your weak areas, and provides you with lessons targeted at improving those areas.

I have been using the Ginger browser plug-in for about 6 months now. I find it very helpful and it works great within PolyLearn as a browser plugin. In the newest release of PolyLearn 2.5, the HTML editor window no longer has the spellcheck button, so spell checking in PolyLearn is now only via the built-in browser tools. I find that Ginger’s browser plugin works much better than the browser default tool. 

As a Mac user I have not been able to use the Microsoft Office tool on a regular basis. I have installed it on a Windows computer in the CTLT to review its features. Last month I also installed it on my mother’s laptop and she loves the way Ginger works in Outlook. Being dyslexic myself, I can’t imagine not using a tool such as this, but for those of you who are perfect grammar and spelling wizards, keep in mind that maybe someone you know can benefit from a tool like Ginger. 


References

The Times – Science. Tom Whipple Science Correspondent. 1/ 22/14
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/article3982212.ece    

Yahoo News. Rebecca Greenfield. 5/22/12
http://news.yahoo.com/auto-correct-not-ruining-spelling-223719641.html?soc_src=copy

Clumsy Thumbsy – the Ellen Degeneris Show
http://cdn-media.ellentv.com/

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