The Reader Gets Angry II

Why does what Gabriella (see previous posting) says ring true? For two reasons. First, my own niece, an Italian from a town close to Bologna and who attends a liceo (an Italian high school)there, came to live in this country for two terms – her mother thought it would polish up her spoken English. She was already very good at reading and writing English and she was placed in what her mum describes as ‘one of the best comprehensives in Winchester’. Her experiences reflected in almost every way the episodes described by Gabriella. The lessons were way below the standards expected at her liceo and the tendency in the English school was always for the teacher to teach to the lowest ability levels in the class. In addition, my niece was shocked at the inability of many of her classmates to spell, punctuate correctly, or to write in well-formed sentences. Towards the end of her stay, she asked, ‘If this is one of the best secondary schools, what are the worst like?’