I see the UK Literacy Association have intervened in the debate about the use of non-words in the government’s proposed new reading test for six-year-olds in England. Testing children on non-words, the proviso being that it is made clear to the child that the words being presented are NOT real words, is a very good… Continue reading Non words nonsense
Yesterday’s article in the Huffington Post demonstrates perfectly why reading and spelling are taught so appallingly in the USA and the UK. In her article ‘The Crisis in Education: Let’s Not Wait for Superman’, Dr Marion Blank talks about the problem of illiteracy in schools in the USA and reports a failure rate of between… Continue reading Huffington Post firing on blanks
Over the weekend I saw two sets of parents, both of which are highly educated and middle class and both of which have decided to pay for private tuition in numeracy and literacy for their children. When I asked them why, their reasons were almost identical: in terms of the children’s literacy, they were not… Continue reading Why Children Can’t Read
I know I’m a week late on this but it’s taken me a week to be able to compose a temperate response to the news that Leighton Andrews, the Labour education minister for Wales, has suddenly decided that the pupils of Wales ‘deserve better’ and that what is needed now is to raise standards. After… Continue reading But it’s too late, Leighton now, it’s too late…
Apropos of yesterday’s posting, a friend tells me that The American Dialect Society has a sibling: the American Name Society, which every year chooses, you’ve guessed it, the name of the year. And this year’s? Don’t ask! *%?!”*&^£”**, otherwise known as Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano. I can’t say it either! The American Name Society have… Continue reading What’s in a name? More than you Finnk, apparently.
Remember how I posted a piece in January on the ‘word of the year’? Well, the American Dialect Society’s latest get-together in Pittburgh has chosen this year’s winner. Nominated by Bill Krezschmar, a University of Georgia professor, ‘app’ sneaked it over thirty-two other possible choices. And it took a hundred and fifty linguists two days… Continue reading WOTY – ADS nom(inates) ‘app’
Here’s a round-up of some of the more interesting items making the news at the moment. But first, a riddle! What is it? ‘The medicine chest of the soul’, ‘the delivery room for the birth of ideas’, ‘the only treasure-house open to all comers ‘, ‘an act of faith’, even the ‘most democratic place in… Continue reading The medicine chest of the soul