Blogging Up The Works

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Literacy levels in primary schools are slipping.

Just part of the full headline but one that appears with remarkable regularity. The Chief Inspector of Schools made one very good point; we've got to stop coming up with soundbite solutions. This has been the role of government for years now to say something clever and then try to implement it in school. The trouble is, by the time you have implementation it's time for another soundbite. That has left a trail of confusion. Are you teaching the alphabet, phonetics, phonics.... and if it's confusing for the teachers then it sure is for the kids.

The next problem is that the main wave of teachers coming through now are the ones where literacy was already badly taught and their grip of grammar is weak and their spelling is average at best.

So, teachers have to be "hardline" now. I'm not sure how. The biggest help will be reading to them. That would be the parents job but then many of the present parents are the children who didn't learn to read before. You can force in rules of grammar and pronunciation as much as you like but that is only part of it. It's the listening that the new children do that teaches them vocabulary and the rules of English. Because it's only by listening to certain words in the context that it's set that means someone knows whether the title to this blog refers to a pastime or a town in Berkshire.


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