Apps/Extensions Featured High School Middle School

Grammarly: Spelling and Grammar Check extension


Spelling and Grammar check extension

Something I’ve noticed over the years particularly in my Modified History classes are the continuous struggles with spelling many of my students have had while conducting research. Often during class research time, the main request I get from my students is how to spell a word or what does the word mean. Of course I was more than happy to assist my students however, the more I thought about, I realized I wasn’t actually helping my students. I was doing the work for them. This led me on a quest to find a tool my students could utilize on their own. I figured since there’s an app for everything, there must be a spell check tool somewhere. I soon discovered Grammarly. This is an editing app, browser extension and plugin for Microsoft Word.

Grammarly is an online tool that will check for spelling and grammar errors. Unlike google docs or Microsoft word which requires you to highlight the word and conduct a spell/grammar check, Grammarly will automatically, monitor your writing. Yes you do have to create an account and login, the students can use their google accounts to login. There is an option to create a premier account however, the basic account provides enough support for student use. For the most part this has been a great tool, yes it has some limitations however, for my students it’s a valuable tool, they’ve been able to utilize it in all their classes to assist them with their spelling when conducting research and working on assignments. An added bonus with Grammarly the students found it will proofread their emails which I to have utilized on a regular basis.

How my students utilize Grammarly:

As the student types, Grammarly checks their text against more than 250 advanced grammar rules. The checks include common grammatical errors, such as subject-verb agreement, article use, and modifier placement, in addition to contextual spelling mistakes and phonetic spelling mistakes. When the student is typing and misspells a word Grammarly will mark it with a red squiggly line, the student can click on the word and Grammarly will make suggestions marked with a green squiggly line for the correct spelling. Utilizing Grammarly has provided my students with more confidence and has forced them to correct things on their own no longer relying on myself every time they are confronted with a word they do not know how to spell. Of course I’m always their for follow up and support, but it has been great seeing my students learning to utilize this great extension. Although Grammarly does not support Google Docs there is an addin that will open and the student can upload their docs to Grammarly to correct their errors.

Below is a bullet point list of how teachers can utilize Grammarly:

  • Loading your text is easy. You can import word files, copy text or type directly into the review box.
  • Press the ‘Start Review’ button and you can choose the context of your writing: for example business, academic or casual.
  • Once the check has run, which takes a minute or so, you will be presented with something similar to the image above, listing the different types of grammar and writing errors and highlighting them in red, in the text.
  • You can run through the errors, one by one, choosing to change or ignore, with each grammar rule explained as you go.
  • Then either copy your text back out or download it. If you have uploaded a Word document, then downloading the altered version will reapply any formatting that you had in the original document, and will show your changes as comments by Grammarly.

Pros: Grammarly is a very simple and basic tool that you do not have to download once you enable the extension it will automatically run. It has very basic features which allow the student to concentrate on their work. Something I found really neat was that every time you review a document it tracks the type and frequency of errors to build up a picture of your weaknesses. On your dashboard, you can see an average score for your work, and access a personalize handbook with detailed explanations of the grammar rules that you personally get wrong most often.

Cons: For the most part Grammarly does a decent job of catching misspelled words however, it does not spot all misuses of correctly spelled words or misplaced words, and sometimes does not recognize poorly constructed sentences. Also the fact it does not support Google docs does make it a little inconvenient however, it does allow you to upload to grammarly.

Overall opinion:

I suggest experimenting with the free version. See how your students like using the extension. There is a suggestions button where you can provide Grammarly with feedback.

Here are some Important links you can review to see Pros and Cons about Grammarly.

Pros and Cons of Grammarly

Grammarly Blog




About the author

Robert Greep

Former Deputy Sheriff, Current High School Special Education Teacher, Site Tech, DieHard UCLA Bruin Fan, Avid Fisherman & Golfer. "Those Who Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail"