There were two stories which caught my eye yesterday in the Telegraph. The first, by Graeme Paton, looks into some research by academics at Coventry University suggesting that texting can improve children’s literacy. This comes as no surprise to me! In order to be able to text successfully, you have to be able to segment… Continue reading ‘Txtin iz messin, mi headn’me englis…’*
For a long time now I’ve been thinking seriously about why it is so difficult for phonics advocates to bring about change in the way in which we teach children in English speaking countries to read and spell. The answer, of course, is complicated but one reason that seems to present itself more forcefully than… Continue reading Rocket science? It is almost!
In his ‘Personal take on synthetic phonics’, Alexandre V. Borovik sheds some interesting light on how, as a child, he learned to read in Russian, which is written in Cyrillic script, an alphabet writing system. What most interested me about the article was how one day, as a young boy, Borovik, while ‘sitting in a… Continue reading Borovik backs phonics
The moment I saw the terrifying picture of Tyrranosaurus Rex and Chris Middleton’s headline in today’s Telegraph, ‘Make Reading into an Adventure’, I thought ‘The Lost World’. That would be the The Lost World of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which I read for the first time as an eleven-year-old. This and my father’s copy of… Continue reading Exploration Return to the Lost World
Since yesterday’s posting, I’ve spotted an interview on npr (National Public Radio) with Ben Zimmer, who writes the ‘On Language’ column for The New York Times Magazine. He offers the following contributions to the American Dialect Society’s ‘Words of the year‘ nominations: ‘junk’, his particular favourite – you’ll see why if you look at his… Continue reading Word of the year II
On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that linguists from all over the world will be descending on Pittsburgh later this week to discuss, amongst other things, (naturally) Pittsburghese, endangered languages, and linguistic map-making. They’ll also be deciding on the word of the year.Previous favourites have been: ‘google’, the word of the decade last year; ‘plutoed’,… Continue reading From ‘Bushlips’ to ‘static kill’. OK?