Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


BS: Illiteracy

Lonesome EJ 22 Jul 00 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Mark 22 Jul 00 - 03:42 PM
Jimmy C 22 Jul 00 - 03:47 PM
Dharmabum 22 Jul 00 - 04:01 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 00 - 04:25 PM
Amergin 22 Jul 00 - 04:30 PM
catspaw49 22 Jul 00 - 04:31 PM
JenEllen 22 Jul 00 - 05:09 PM
Jeri 22 Jul 00 - 05:24 PM
sophocleese 22 Jul 00 - 06:05 PM
Lonesome EJ 22 Jul 00 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Ely 22 Jul 00 - 06:15 PM
Mbo 22 Jul 00 - 06:19 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 00 - 06:24 PM
sophocleese 22 Jul 00 - 06:29 PM
Lonesome EJ 22 Jul 00 - 06:43 PM
katlaughing 22 Jul 00 - 06:46 PM
Lepus Rex 22 Jul 00 - 07:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jul 00 - 07:12 PM
Jeri 22 Jul 00 - 07:29 PM
MAG (inactive) 22 Jul 00 - 07:32 PM
oggie 22 Jul 00 - 07:37 PM
Lonesome EJ 22 Jul 00 - 07:38 PM
Jeri 22 Jul 00 - 07:45 PM
Lepus Rex 22 Jul 00 - 07:53 PM
The Shambles 22 Jul 00 - 08:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jul 00 - 08:09 PM
The Shambles 22 Jul 00 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,Barry Finn 22 Jul 00 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,LDB 22 Jul 00 - 10:58 PM
little john cameron 23 Jul 00 - 12:10 AM
Lepus Rex 23 Jul 00 - 12:30 AM
Escamillo 23 Jul 00 - 12:30 AM
Sorcha 23 Jul 00 - 12:54 AM
katlaughing 23 Jul 00 - 12:56 AM
catspaw49 23 Jul 00 - 01:16 AM
Escamillo 23 Jul 00 - 01:23 AM
Seamus Kennedy 23 Jul 00 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,Banjo Johnny 23 Jul 00 - 03:49 AM
The Shambles 23 Jul 00 - 04:26 AM
Gervase 23 Jul 00 - 05:23 AM
InOBU 23 Jul 00 - 08:15 AM
InOBU 23 Jul 00 - 08:17 AM
katlaughing 23 Jul 00 - 09:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 00 - 10:11 AM
Jeri 23 Jul 00 - 10:12 AM
catspaw49 23 Jul 00 - 10:22 AM
Sorcha 23 Jul 00 - 10:46 AM
kendall 23 Jul 00 - 11:25 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 00 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Banjo Johnny 23 Jul 00 - 01:31 PM
kendall 23 Jul 00 - 01:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 00 - 01:52 PM
Lonesome EJ 23 Jul 00 - 02:45 PM
Catlin 23 Jul 00 - 03:10 PM
The Shambles 23 Jul 00 - 03:19 PM
Bill D 23 Jul 00 - 07:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 00 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU 23 Jul 00 - 07:58 PM
sophocleese 23 Jul 00 - 08:02 PM
Bill D 23 Jul 00 - 08:08 PM
Bill D 23 Jul 00 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,Mbo 23 Jul 00 - 08:19 PM
InOBU 23 Jul 00 - 08:30 PM
Escamillo 23 Jul 00 - 10:27 PM
The Shambles 24 Jul 00 - 06:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jul 00 - 06:56 AM
Bagpuss 24 Jul 00 - 07:19 AM
kendall 24 Jul 00 - 07:23 AM
Bagpuss 24 Jul 00 - 07:39 AM
RichM 24 Jul 00 - 07:43 AM
Mbo 24 Jul 00 - 07:44 AM
Ringer 24 Jul 00 - 08:00 AM
Bagpuss 24 Jul 00 - 08:14 AM
Grab 24 Jul 00 - 09:51 AM
Bagpuss 24 Jul 00 - 10:04 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jul 00 - 10:21 AM
Bagpuss 24 Jul 00 - 10:23 AM
robroy 24 Jul 00 - 10:55 AM
Susie 24 Jul 00 - 12:48 PM
Ringer 24 Jul 00 - 02:04 PM
The Shambles 24 Jul 00 - 03:07 PM
kendall 24 Jul 00 - 03:10 PM
Lonesome EJ 24 Jul 00 - 05:02 PM
kendall 24 Jul 00 - 05:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jul 00 - 07:47 PM
Homeless 24 Jul 00 - 08:07 PM
Lonesome EJ 24 Jul 00 - 08:13 PM
Rick Fielding 24 Jul 00 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,Ely 25 Jul 00 - 01:55 AM
Seamus Kennedy 25 Jul 00 - 03:10 AM
The Shambles 25 Jul 00 - 04:29 AM
Ringer 25 Jul 00 - 07:21 AM
InOBU 25 Jul 00 - 07:27 AM
The Shambles 25 Jul 00 - 08:13 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 00 - 08:34 AM
kendall 25 Jul 00 - 08:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 00 - 09:07 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 25 Jul 00 - 03:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 00 - 03:59 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 26 Jul 00 - 02:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jul 00 - 04:29 PM
CamiSu 26 Jul 00 - 07:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jul 00 - 08:05 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 26 Jul 00 - 08:29 PM
Gervase 27 Jul 00 - 07:31 AM
InOBU 27 Jul 00 - 09:05 AM
Grab 28 Jul 00 - 08:25 AM
InOBU 28 Jul 00 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,Paddy(1) 28 Jul 00 - 09:15 PM
InOBU 29 Jul 00 - 08:37 AM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: Illiteracy
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 01:20 PM

In my store, I usually employ teenagers or people in their early 20s. Many of these people are quite bright, but they share one thing in common- they spell at what I would consider a third grade level. One Senior at Conifer High School spelled it "Confir High Scool" on his application. Another employee who is intelligent enough to build a PC board from components, left me a note saying "the reeceet is in the droor" (the receipt is in the drawer). He will graduate this coming year.

What is happening? How can people with these poor basic writing skills reach the twelfth grade of high school? I believe that our expectations of literacy have dropped so low that, at least in America, we are approaching a level of illiteracy not seen since the late 1800s. I believe that students are taught rudimentary spelling at an early age, but are never required to read, so that these skills are never developed. Are we raising a generation of people who can program computers, but spell cat with a k? What will happen to the written word in the future? Is literature a dying art?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 03:42 PM

Welcome to the world of, "It doesn't matter if the word is spelled right, or the numbers actually add up that way, as long as you feel good about yourself!"

As for the written word in the future, not long ago I saw an interview with a teacher who didn't think being able to write was anything to emphasize, because 'after all, everything will be done with a keyboard'. It's not all that bad, but God help those who are being let out with that level of skill, and those who hire them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Jimmy C
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 03:47 PM

I have to agree with you. I was reading the notes from a MANAGERs' meeting where I work. All handwritten on a flip chart in the coffee room and noticed these gems.

When you go on a coffee BRAKE ?

When you HERE the phone ring ?

Everyday I encounter people who can neither spell nor count. I gave a customer the price of 2 items. One was $10.00, the other was $ 13.00, his remark " SO thats about $21.00 for both" nearly floored me, he was not joking either.

God I hope i have no mistakes in this reply.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Dharmabum
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 04:01 PM

I once hired a collage student for summer help, he couldn't read a ruler! And what's even worse,he wanted to become an archetect! {god I hope I spelled that correctly}.

Hukd on fonix werkd 4 mee.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 04:25 PM

I'm a stickler for spelling, to the point where it really aggravates some people. I try to temper my urge to correct bad spelling, but I draw the line at apostrophes. I just can't hold back when I see a sign that say's that the idea was her's. Another thing - I can tolerate bad spelling in a handwritten document, but it really bugs me to see bad spelling in print or on a big sign.

I've taught classes in church and Scouts with several professional teachers who have horrible spelling. One was Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Sacramento. These aren't stupid people - they just can't spell. I sometimes wonder if teachers are generally worse at spelling than the rest of us. My children were taught be some of these people - and all three of my children turned out to be great spellers. So, maybe it isn't such a big deal.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Amergin
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 04:30 PM

Some folks just can't spell, period. Personally, I never had much problems with spelling, but my sister on the other hand spells phonetically.... We used to gather around every Christmas and read her Christmas list, it was always great for a laugh. She got that from my dad....the rest of us can spell purdy good...

Amergin....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 04:31 PM

Spelling aside, there is a general dumbing-down in the United States that is appalling. I am off to hear Ungar and Mason with Nanci Griffith tonight and I don't even want to start on this issue. I loved teaching but the "system" drove me nuts. Let me just say for now that that American education is the inculcation of the incomprenensible to the indifferent by the incompetent.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: JenEllen
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 05:09 PM

Yeah, but I draw the line at simple common sense. There's a restaurant in our town that is currently advertising "Peech Pie" on their billboard. What chafes my hide is that 1) someone put it up in plain view 2) management didn't catch it 3) no one can look at a menu to find it printed correctly

Another example is the aquarium store here called "Tiny Bubbles". It's on the bleeding neon sign, and below it are the little plastic letters stating "By all your fish suplys at Tinny Bubbles"

Makes me wonder, I spent my youth fighting dyslexia for THIS???

~Elle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 05:24 PM

I think Mark has it right. If you correct a child, you may be threatening his/her self esteem. Oy. It seems like the kids who want to learn, do. The kids with learning disabilities get identified too late, and not much seems to be done to properly teach them. The average kids are just plain not getting pushed to do better.

And politicians who don't seem to give a rat's ass about education keep getting elected by people who either don't care either, don't think, or want their child to get through school as easily as possible.

...and don't even get me started on people who treat science as a belief system.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: sophocleese
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 06:05 PM

I had to explain to the kids why I was laughing at a sign advertising Padle Boats and Water Sks today. They are young but they are learning some decent spelling. Sometimes I wonder when they make up the signs if they have all the letters they need or are creating an approximation of the word from what they have.

Our provincial governemnt has taken all the general concern over possible lower education standards and is using it to drive a particularly vicious anti-teacher agenda. The changes they have made and are proposing do not actually address any of the real concerns only the pocketbooks of tax-payers who no longer have children in school.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 06:14 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: GUEST,Ely
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 06:15 PM

To Hell with self-esteem. My mother regularly pulled apart our writing for school and got very angry if we turned it in without letting her see it. I have much better self-esteem because of it because I'm a pretty solid writer. Of course, I come from a family of voracious readers and I spelling has always been easy for me, so I had a leg up on a lot of my classmates.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a reputation for being somebody who read "big books"; _Crime and Punishment_, _the Mill on the Floss_, etc. One day, I came to class with _Adam Bede_ and, when my teacher saw it, she said, "Oh, I thought you'd be ready to read something entertaining for once." _Crime and Punishment_ isn't entertaining?!

For the record, whether you physically write it or type it, don't you still have to be able to spell it to make yourself understood?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Mbo
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 06:19 PM

Ely, after a crack like that, I wouldn't have let that teacher slide!

--Matt (who read the 2000+ page Peter The Great: His Life & His World by Michael Massey...when he was 17)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 06:24 PM

I think you're opening a can of worms there, Jeri. If you're a parent or a teacher, you have to correct children, constantly - but you have to find ways to do it that increase a child's self-esteem. It's a real challenge.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: sophocleese
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 06:29 PM

Then again there's "Why Johnny Can't Read; The Video"...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 06:43 PM

At one time, literacy and the ability to read and write clearly were necessary tools for success in business and in life. They were essential Communication Skills. And the general high level of skill at reading and writing enabled the novels of Sartre, Mann, Dostoevsky, and Shakespeare to be widely understood and appreciated as great art.

Perhaps we now value these skills too highly? Perhaps film will entirely supplant the printed word, and the term "novel" will mean only new. Would this be a great loss? I see no corresponding erosion of verbal skills among young people. Maybe we are merely moving to a new stage of development, where the magic of the written word has been displaced by other forms of communication? Perhaps in another 100 years, the Status Quo will be similar to the literate breakdown of the world population in the mid-1800s: a small but fanatical following of the written word who savor the Bleak House and Moby Dick of the future, while the masses pursue their menu of visual,audial and virtual entertainments. The Sign Industry will move away from the written word, and back to the easily recognizable icon, that the illiterate may find their Pubs, Barbershops, and Restaurants with ease.

Forward (as the Firesign Theater once said) into the past.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 06:46 PM

For some really insightful and fantastic comments on the state of education in America, please click here to listen to Williams' College Historian, James McGregor Burns on NPR, from this morning. While the main subject he speaks about is too much moderation/middle ground with presidential candidates, he focuses on education as an example. Really well worth listening.

LeeJ, I think I've already said before how upset I was when I graded high school papers here. One teacher rejected my entire set of graded, first of the year essays. She was new to the school and horrified that I had red marks all over the papers. She said there was no way that she could pass them out to the kids as they would be devastated. The mistakes were incredibly common and prevelant...for third grade!

I was so upset, I called the head of the college English dept. He felt the same way and we commiserated with one another over the fact that he had to admit students with inadequate basic skills and had to dumb down the classes, as Spaw pointed out. This doesn't do them any favours and it hinders and frustrates those students who have the abilities of someone like my daughter who thought her classes, in general, were a joke at college because of it.

Two of my sisters cannot spell to save their souls, BUT they do know their grammar, etc. and have learned to compensate for the spelling. Both have been excellent elementary teachers for years. My other sister does really well, as does my brother. He and I both had Latin which I think helps tremendously.

I don't know about the new hooked on phonics, but I had phonics in the late 50's/early 60's and my spelling and language skills are right up there. (I know...my postings are full of typos...you see, I suffer from dyslexic fingers!**BG**)

I think we have a huge crisis in education and am not at all sure what should be done about it. I think it has developed over many years adn while I know it is important for children to develop good self-esteem, I think we've forgotten to teach them that they can gain such by learning well and becoming erudite. The feeling good should come from significant accomplishment, not from just making up a spelling etc.

Thanks,

kat...oops the one word I never spell right!**BG**


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 07:05 PM

I remember a few years ago, when I was at a movie theatre... I payed the girl behind the counter the $5.50 in five Susan B. Anthony dollar coins and two quarters. She stood there and stared at them for about 20 seconds, and then said, 'This is, like, a buck-75, sir.' I told her that, no, the coins with the woman on them were dollars; says so right on the coin. She had to call the manager to verify this...

I don;'t know if anyone else will find this funny, but oh well: Here's the menu from 'Parsegian's Sports Bar,' one and two. (From TimmyBigHands.com)

---Lepus Rex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 07:12 PM

There's a balance in these things, and the important thing is to get it right. Sometimes that means concentrating on getting one particular thing right, and leaving the other things aside for the moment.

In itself spelling is pretty arbitrary and of relatively minor importance - after all Shakespeare couldn't even spell his own name the same way twice running. But it does matter, because other people think it matters, and if you spell too oddly you're going to be looked down on and humiliated and be afraid to write things, and if you do write things it's going to be harder for other people to read them.

I suspect that what with spellcheckers and all that, the ability to spell unaided will become less significant as a way of judging other people's competence, in the same way that calculators have made the ability to do long division less significant. And there's a definite downside to that, as well as an upside.

But I'd put the ability to spell accurately a lot lower in the scale of important human skills than the ability to make music, or tell stories.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 07:29 PM

Joe, I agree with you completely. I was only stating what I believed is a current trend in thinking. "Lay off the kid - he's doing his best." (No, not really.) Like you, I feel that if someone's self esteem is based solely on believing everything they do is good, they're going to suffer a real blow outside of the classroom. Never telling a child they do something right is horrible, but not believing in them enough to think they can do better?! Denying kids the chance to make progress and thereby gain confidence in their abilities is a crime.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 07:32 PM

That menu is a joke, right??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: oggie
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 07:37 PM

In the UK it is thought that one adult in six is functionally illiterate. In schools the time for teaching reading, which is part of the foundation of spelling, has been cut back by the literacy hour. Parents are supposed to hear their children read every night. Fine, but when the parent can't read how is that meant to help the child?

All the best

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 07:38 PM

McGrath, wouldn't you consider that there is a direct correlation between spelling ability and reading comprehension? Spell checkers will not help someone who is looking for a Lawyer from stumbling into a Lawncare Center, or tell someone what they are ordering from a menu, or sugar from salt, or....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 07:45 PM

Watt our ewe trying two say? My speel checker dose jist watt I knead! (Sorry)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 07:53 PM

Yes, MAG, it's a joke:)

---Lepus Rex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 08:08 PM

I was an early reader as a child I had no problems reading, understanding and loving the whole process but I had no natural skill at spelling. Writing too was a chore and until the advent of the word processor I tended to avoid that means of communication all together..

As a result of all this reading I had a large vocabulary and would comprehend and use many words in conversation, that I would struggle over spelling even today.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 08:09 PM

"There is a direct correlation between spelling ability and reading comprehension" - yes, there is. The more you read, the better your spelling gets, because the words look wrong when they are spelt wrong.

It's unfortunate in a way that the language that seems set to become the world language has such crazy spelling. It would have been easier if the spelling had been settled by people who were good at spelling, rather than oddballs like Chaucer and Shakespeare and the Bible translators who seem to have made it up as they went along.

I expect that in time a lot of the weird spellings so prevalent in English will sort themselves out, and some of the examples of bizarre mispellings included in the thread are an indication of how that is going to happen. The electronic spellcheckers actually are the best defence of current English spelling, because they'll hold the line better than teachers could ever do.

They will have the effect that, no matter how people mispell when they write, what appears in print will keep to the present spelling - and that will ensure that the wrong spellings will continue to look wrong. And that will feed back into the way people who read will tend to spell.

And for an example of how seeing a word printed differently feeds back into whether it looks right or wrong, thing of "beatle" and "beetle". For a whole generation at least, the latter spelling is the one that looks odd.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 08:12 PM

I certain knew when I had spelt a word incorrectly. It didn't make it much easier, to then spell it correctly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 08:44 PM

What's there to wonder about. My kids come home with their papers corrected by teachers that can't spell themselves, how are they to teach? Well we do have presidents that don't know Eastern Europe from Western & vice presidents can't spell the places that they're visiting. It must be that trickle down effect that I used to hear about. Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: GUEST,LDB
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 10:58 PM

IMO spelling is about as important as pickng the proper shovel to pick up horseshit. I'll pay big bucks for people that can produce quality (fill the blank) items, then add another 10k dollars and hire two English majors (who generally have no saleable skills whatsoever) or 5 philosophy majors (whose skills are absolutly worthless anyway, but they can spell).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: little john cameron
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 12:10 AM

Lepus, ah'm awfy gled ye "payed" for the movie.(grin) ljc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 12:30 AM

Aaagh... Wise ass;) But, um, like... I was typing with an accent. Yeah. Sort of like you, ljc. That's how we write it up here in Minnesota, in our regional dialect. Payed. Yup. heh.

---Lepus Reks


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Escamillo
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 12:30 AM

I think that, what has gone through the sewer pipes is the POPULAR education. The society runs everyday a little more into a profound division: those who have access to health, safety and good education, candidates to occupy power positions, and those who have now access to washing machines and TV, and perhaps a cable TV, candidates to illiteracy, worst paid jobs and constant manipulation, to not mention the unsafety of their homes and streets.
Sons and daughters of the high classes spell very well. And every day more people move their children from the public school to expensive ones, as the only chance to obtain an acceptable education for them.
Not everybody can read books at home: each one costs 10 to 30 dollars. Cable TV serves the whole family for some cents per day, at the touch of a button. Technology has put the crap of the world at the reach of everybody.
We, at less developed countries, have received another grace: the distortion of our own good old language by the English translators(who are in their majority Hispano Americans). 99% comes from Miami, the Mecca of TV distribution for Latin America. These are some jewels I have noted:
"aircraft carriers weighing more than 90 tons!" - for 90,000 tons, because in the European/Latin notation, the comma is a decimal separator, so they say 90 tons.
"flamas" - for flames, the correct word is LLAMAS.
"aparcar" - to park, the correct is ESTACIONAR.
"estamos tarde" - senseless for "we are late" - correct ESTAMOS ATRASADOS.
"locaciones" - for locations, correct is SITIOS.
"ingeniero" - for railroad engineer, correct is MAQUINISTA.
"1 billón de dólares" - bestiality for 1,000 milions, in Spanish 1 billion is a million of millions.
"the speed of light is 300 kms/hour", brutality for 300,000 kms/second.
"aproximadamente 50.8 mm" - nonsense for "about two inches", correct: UNOS 5 CM.
And the most ridiculous: " those natives called the star La Abeja Seria (the serious bee)" - for the star Sirius B

Thanks Goodness, they give us The Simpsons too.
Un abrazo - Andrés (un abrazo is a hug. A translator would tell you "the negation of the arm" ) :))


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 12:54 AM

Andres, those are not "spelling" errors, per se, but are just as ridiculous. I did not know, until I went to Mexico that there are different types/dialects (?) of Spanish. My Spanish instructor was Cuban, my dictionary Castilian. Sooooo, I was wandering around the market in Oxaca asking for un papagayo. Most of the people were polite to the Norte Americana, saying, "Noooooooo, por que?" Finally, one girl said, appalled, "Vivo?" I thought, why would I want a dead one?

When I returned home, I was telling this story at dinner. Present were Cubans, Americans of Mexican descent from Kansas, USA for 4 generations and a girl from Castille. Everyone except the Castilliana was dying with laughter. She was as confused as I was........turned out I was trying to purchase a fighting cock. What I wanted was a parrot........un perrigo in Mexican Spanish. (sorry, my English keyboard does not do accents, etc.)

I have always wondered if part of the spelling problem in English could be because English has so many different languages for sources. Reed, read. Knead, need. Red, read,etc. Source determines spelling. Then there is the UK/USA spelling difference......spelled/spelt. Harbor/harbour.......I grew up reading British literature so it is no problem for me to understand, but my English teachers did not like UK spellings. There is still NO excuse for some of this ignorance, though. Teachers should TEACH!!

Sorcha, who was reading Hemmingway, Faulkner, Tolstoy, Steinbeck etc. at age 12..........I may not have UNDERSTOOD it, but I could read it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 12:56 AM

Andres, when Roger first started working in Venezuala we bought a fancy-dancy translation program for our old 386 PC. I dutifully used it to write up our very first invoice. Faxed it to them while Rog was there. They all had a gay time laughing at the invoice I was so proud of; it seems some piece of broadcast equipment was translated into "fur coats" for which I was billing them!

Lepus Reks...wouldn't that be Minahsewtah? **BG**

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 01:16 AM

There is no place to start and no end in sight. The problems within the schools of this country have become an epidemic and one in which the solutions are all too readily available. Everybody and their grandmothers have a new method for every subject. We have seen a deterioration in the quality and quantity of knowledge acquired since the '50's. We now have more experts involved than ever before. Each has a solution. Every solution is more complex than the last. None work.

Why?

We have parents who spend no time with their kids. We have teachers who have no ability to teach. It is a science, but to be effective, a teacher must turn the science into art. We have more requirements of administrators (and teachers) to document minute details of everything to satisfy certification boards and funding agencies. We have children who are talented, intelligent, and lost, within a system that gears itself to the lowest common denominator. We have more categories and boxes available to explain every child who is a problem, educationally or behaviorally. Once categorized, we no longer have to worry if they don't do well because now we have a reason, an excuse.

How did we get here? I have a few ideas and some of them have to do with my generation. Tonight, I'm too tired to get into the whole mess and it really doesn't matter unless we are willing to simplify the entire system. Find admin folks willing to fend off the bureaucracy until we can rein them in. Hire teachers who love to teach, have a passion for teaching, and are demonstrably good at it. Quit throwing money into useless technologies and "pablum" methods that are not needed by outstanding teachers. We have "Cargo Cult" education.

During the second World War we established bases on islands where the native population had never seen any of our "modern" things. during our stay on these islands the natives became used to the goods and wonderful things the cargo planes brought in. Then we left and the islanders were sad because the fine things no longer arrived. So they went to the airstrip and made bamboo radios with vine cords and coconut headsets. They lit little fires where the landing lights had been. They did everything as best they could to emulate what the Americans had done, but the planes didn't land. Everyday they worked harder and harder adding more homemade things to make it look better. The planes didn't land and their cargo did not arrive. They continued this futile pursuit for many years. They became known as the "Cargo Cult." This is where the educational system is now.

Screw it........Ya' know folks, there ain't nothin' gonna' happen is there? We're going to have more tests for kids to pass to prove they are at the proper grade level and teachers are going to teach to those tests. We'll look better on paper and kids get less.

Christ I'm tired..............

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Escamillo
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 01:23 AM

Sorcha, if you had an Argentinian present in that dinner, you would have had to call 911 for an ambulance for him after a laughter attack. Here in the South we don´t see papagayos (big and colorful parrots), so we refer them as LOROS, while papagayo is a word to name a special glass device similar to a horizontal bottle, used by people confined to bed, to urinate. This device is designed for men only, so you can imagine the lots of jokes invented around the poor thing, regarding the size of the neck, risk of getting caught by vacuum, etc.etc.
Sorry for drift change.
Difficulties in spelling is another symptom of a tendency I see as most dangerous: nobody cares about the education of poor classes of society, because thanks to technology, high classes need them less, and everyday a little less.
Un abrazo - Andrés


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 03:29 AM

I don't think the Mudcat is the place to bring up illiteracy, because there are many members who are highly intelligent, whose thoughts and ideas are cogent and timely, but who express those thoughts and ideas with atrocious grammar and spelling. We appreciate these thoughts and ideas, but we never point out their spelling and grammatical mistakes. Are we cutting them some slack because they're 'Catters, and if so, why? Just wondering? Seamus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: GUEST,Banjo Johnny
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 03:49 AM

As the jailkeeper said, "What this joint needs is a better class o' prisoner."

Let's quit blaming the struggling teachers. Did you know that teachers have homework? -- lots of it! On the job, a teacher is the sole interlocutor between the oligarchy and the sullen brats. Not an enviable position.

Most of the children in school don't want to be there, and they do their best to ruin it for those few who want to learn. The attitude is "dumb is cool, and smart kids are geeks." Forget about spelling -- football rules!

This idea may be coming from the moronic television shows that are so popular. I suppose this is the price we pay for Freedom of Speech, but it's a shame.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 04:26 AM

Cutting Mudcatters some slack?…Yes……If you can understand what someone one is saying and can recognise their intelligence, they are obviously communicating perfectly well. Pointing out that their method of communication, is not standard, will only inhibit them from expressing themselves here. This has happened, and it is our loss.

It is generally accepted that written musical notation is one tool that musicians use. When those musicians write in this notation, there will develop their own short-cuts and style of writing it down. Other musicians will be able to understand enough of this to produce the music. Heaven help us if all the music sounded the same.

There is a difference when dealing with and teaching children, I accept

Should not more emphasis be placed on reading than writing?

When you can read, you can take all the written knowledge in and the process is stimulating, at the time you are doing it.

Writing is about getting your thoughts about that knowledge out. The process of writing, is not stimulating, in itself and finding the correct spelling / grammar, is largely a chore. It slows and inhibits the primary function, which is communication.

When we talk, we recognise and welcome our different styles of speech, even though it is sometimes hard work. We do not expect a standard way of speaking. Why should we expect a standard way of writing and spelling?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Gervase
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 05:23 AM

'Spaw, you're dead right again.
All my working life has been with words - they've been the tools of my trade for more than 20 years and, like any tradesman, it pains me to see tools abused.
Yet the decline in literacy is by no means an American phenomenon. In the UK I have interviewed would-be journalists for jobs and found that it's not just their literacy that's substandard but their general knowledge and numeracy as well - and this includes English and PPE graduates from Oxbridge.
For what it's worth, which is bugger all, I fear that too much emphasis in education these days goes into passing a set of tests, from the basis SATS tests at seven (and, if this statistically-obsessed government gets its way) at four, to GCSEs, A-levels and many modern modular degrees.
Thus the role of the teacher has become, perforce, not to educate (e ducare - to lead out) but to narrow and channel young minds.
Teachers, though, have too many responsibilities already, and it is unfair to blame them for the way the system dictates they do their job.
The real problem lies with the abrogation by many parents of all educational responsibilities to teachers. "It's the school's job to learn them to read and write..."
Shortly before I left journalism I got involved in a reading scheme at a local school in central London. I remember being appalled at hearing some of the kids with whom I worked say that there were no books at home, and that their entertainment was entirely electronic.
But what made the work so worthwhile was, after sitting with these kids (aged from 8 to 11) and simply reading with and to them, they started getting interested in books. One admitted that his parents had never really read to him - they'd just bung a tape in the machine.
So like any revolution, the overthrow of illiteracy has to come from our own hearthplaces. Don't throw all the blame on "the system" or your kids' teachers - and become a passionate evangelist for the love of reading.
Sorry about all that - end of rant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 08:15 AM

A Chara Seamus, Gorra maith agut, a vic:
KEVIN! I am surprised at you! Lonesome El and you have made a rather surprising eror. There is no correlation between literacy and ability to spell. I have a learning disability - similer to dislexia, but the inverce of the same, I have troble sequencing, and as such, where Dislexics have troble with language and often make good mathimaticians, as they make language problems into math problems as a way of mentally accomodating their disability, people with my disability make language problems out of math problems - can't count but can read and speak like hell.
People with disabilities such as mine are often remarkabley good readers with huge reading comprehension scores, mine have been in the high nineties since I learned to read. On the other hand, I will never be able to spell well, as a fact of my morphology. I met six others with my disability in law school, (the third best law school in the US).
One has to be careful not to judge someone by their spelling in the same way one should not judge by regional accents. My first year of law school, I had never accepted accomodations for my disability. However, I was consistantly scoring the lowest marks in a system where there was an inforced grade curve. There had to be a top and bottom among scholars who came from the top of the best schools in the world. At the end of my first year I accepted, as an accomodation, the right to take my exams on computors with spell check, and my marks went up to the upper rainge becomming a teaching assistant in Constitutional law and race and the law.
JOE! As you know, I am one of those who think you are doing a GREAT job, - but if you are bothered by poor spelling, isn't there some way to create a way of posting that includes SPELL CHECK!!!! (short of adding a bunch of steps on our lazy ass parts!) ;-)
All the best
Laryr... I mean Alrry, grrrrr... LAYRR aw shucks, you know who I mean.... (Larry)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 08:17 AM

PS
Whne I was nine, my fourth grade teacher did not believe I read Moby Dick, until we discussed it... judged by my spelling and fear of being called on in class, she thought I was an idiot until then...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 09:55 AM

Larry, my daughter has had the same problem all through school; her reading comprehension was way off the charts for her age group, yet spelling was atrocious. We fought for her right to take exams in other ways, too.

I don't think LeeJ meant to take any Mudcatters to task. We all, I hope, can recognise and accept that there are erudite poeple on here, such as yourself, who do have such disabilities. You have made no bones about it from the start. Then there are the lazy asses like me who just don't "proffreid", as PeterT puts it.

I think the distinction was more about young people and education in general. I have three sisters who are teachers. Every year they see more added onto their work, which has nothing to do with their subject matter. They are now responsible for so many things that parents used to do: making sure a child has eaten breakfast, has clean clothes and adequate supplies....the list is endless. There have been no increased compensations of any kind, just high expectations that they will serve the children, not only as a teacher, but as a substitute parent, nurse, etc.

As an example of how the system has let teachers down: 20 years ago, Wyoming paid top dollar for good teachers. The pay rate was one of the highest in the nation and the best teachers came here to teach. The academic standards were high and a parent could count on their child learning well. The other day I heard a report on current conditions for teachers in Wyoming: among other things, the pay ranks 41st in the nation, many of the good teachers who were attracted, like my sisters, to the good pay, are retiring, some early like my sister, because of the detrioration of support. The state is now faced with trying to replace its best with no decent salaries to attract a new crop of the best. Not suprisingly, the academic standards have dropped considerably.

Gervase is right...teachers are based on how well their students perform on standardised tests and there are far too many children who have never even had a book in their home. If we really want a change it has to start at home.

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 10:11 AM

What's surprising, InOBU? What I was saying is how we learn to recognise when a spelling is "wrong" is because we've seen it so often spelt one way that it looks wrong when it's spelt another way. Well, that's true for me anyway - my wife tells me about all kinds of rules that exist, but I could never learn that way.

The same you learn a tune by ear, you learn a spelling by eye.

Of course it doesn't work the same way for everyone. The same way that some people just can't pick up a tune, some people are can't be comfortable with written words. If you have to choose, being able to pick up a tune is a lot more important.

Is there a word like dyslexic for people who can't learn to read music? Like me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 10:12 AM

There are kids who have the capability to spell well, but just aren't taught. There are kids with learning disabilities who... Well, perhaps in the past, many of these kids grew up not able to read and write at all. Maybe things are better, maybe not. If teachers give up on students before those student have had a chance to do their best, it's a failure of the education system, not the students. That's what I'm personally bitching about - the system, not people who can't, but could have learned to spell, because of it.

Mudcat is about communication, and as far as I'm concerned, if I can understand what someone means, I don't care about the spelling. Generalization based on my previous job of scoring tests: younger kids with learning disabilities will write long, sometimes brilliant things that take a bit of time to understand. When they get older, they stop trying. Perhaps this is because they are made to feel stupid - that the spelling is more important than what they have to say. That the spelling is an indicator of intelligence, and the thought behind it is insignificant. People shouldn't be made to feel like that here. I want to read what you have to say.

Those of us who can spell don't understand how someone else can not learn how to spell. We can't get inside other people's brains. Those of us who sing or play an instrument can't understand how anyone can be "tone deaf." There's a time when we have to admit we don't understand and just accept it.

Confession time: I have been known to type words into my e-mail program, or copy and paste whole messages to use the spellchecker. Too bad it doesn't work for grammar and punctuation. :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 10:22 AM

The teacher is in an untenable situation. I have nothing but admiration for those who can still communicate the material and fire the passion for learning while living day to day in a less than prime envioronment and within the many rules and parameters set by the systems. The best tend to move on to retain their sanity. The greats who stay are special people.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 10:46 AM

Oh, thank you Andres!! A great addition to my parrot story!! It's too bad my Spanish teacher is gone, he would really have appreciated that one! Gives a whole new dimension to "Vivo?" Oh dear, LOL here, sides hurt!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: kendall
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 11:25 AM

I think it's a republican plot...they need to have a steady supply of illiterate people who will work for minimum wage so we can buy .99c hamburgers, thereby making them rich..
Seriously.. Mbo, I have a grand daughter who is quite bright. At the age of 8 she read Great Expectations. However, she still says "like" every other word.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 11:35 AM

"I have a grand daughter who is quite bright." She sounds it, kendall - bilingual as well as a good reader!

The thing is languages change. Imagine being a Roman and seeing how all these barbarians were dropping the declensions and conjugations, and destroying the whole structure and sound of a wonderful language. Must have seemed heartbreaking, all that dumbing down....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: GUEST,Banjo Johnny
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 01:31 PM

Good point about Latin. Great must have been the gnashing of teeth among educated Romans! More recently, there was a time when Scots was well on its way to becoming a distinct language, incomprehensible to the English. But we digress.

Have you run this thread through a spell-checker? You will find very few identifiable misspellings. Let's assume that one-time slips are typographical, rather than orthographical errors. That leaves a lot of typos.

(I just made a trip to the dictionary to check "identifiable". When in doubt, look it up!)

I do agree that spelling is not the most important element of communication. However, each error gives rise to a glitch in my comprehension of the writer's thoughts, like a wrong note in an otherwise beautiful solo.

I did not enjoy my high school typing class, but it gave me a skill that helped me greatly in college and later, on the job. And the big pay-off came when PC's appeared. The great advantage of the PC keyboard over the ordinary typewriter is the backspace key -- a chance to correct my typos before they are cast in stone.

In a world of PC's, perhaps typing should be required at some level in schools. As a bonus, the manual dexterity achieved in typing will help when learning to play a musical instrument!

== Johnny in Oklahoma City


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: kendall
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 01:48 PM

.. and we all know what became of the Roman empire..NEXT!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 01:52 PM

But it lasted a whole lot longer than the British or American Empires...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 02:45 PM

InOBU, I'm sorry if my introduction of this topic came across as a criticism of everyone who has a spelling problem- it wasn't meant that way. I understand and appreciate your handicap, and your posts are articulate despite any errors. I'll also admit that there is not always a direct correlation between spelling and comprehension. I am certainly not equating spelling skills with intelligence, either.

However, I do think that the skills that comprise literacy (reading comprehension, spelling and grammar, vocabulary) are on the wane, particularly among the young. I feel certain that the kid who came in and spelled Conifer "confir" has not read any Melville recently. My fear is that reading,writing and spelling are considered secondary skills today, in an environment of spell checkers,computer keyboards,a world where the instant-gratification stimuli of video has replaced the more reflective and internalized method embodied in the printed word.

Maybe McGrath is right....we are the last Romans in the crumbling empire of the written word, watching as the language enters the seeming chaos of the spoken word.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Catlin
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 03:10 PM

InOBU, I have the same type of Dyslexia, along with ADD/H and Dyspraxia. I find it MUCH easier to talk, read and write than to do simple maths. I have difficulty with grammar, and some punctuation, but I get by. But give me anything more demanding than simple maths and I'm lost. I can now balance my household bugget and I run the finances in our house, but I'd love to be able to achieve the same level in Math as I do in Communication.
I do think there are more children with various learning difficulties now simply because we are diagnosing more of the children with them. I was labeled 'difficult', 'stubborn','attention-seeking', 'can do it, but won't' etc. I was only diagnosed last year at the age of 20. I was lucky. A local uni is researching diagnostic tests for Dyslexia, ADD/H and Dyspraxia for Pre-School/Nursery children and Adults, and I was invited to take part. I finally have an answer as to why I found school so hard to cope with.
I was very lucky, in that I had three or four teachers in my school career who were willing to go the extra mile and help me to achieve all I could. The school system in the UK doesn't foster teachers who care, teachers who can 'give'. The ones that exist are undervalued, underpaid and over-worked. And we wonder why there are falling standards in schools. Between that and the lack of money and resources for schools, greater expectations from parents and society that teachers should be providing more of a 'parenting' role than ever before, is it suprising that the quality and commitment of teachers is going down? The children who are now being failed in school are the same children who will grow up to be part of the next generation of teachers. And I can't see any way out.

*despairing* Catlin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 03:19 PM

We are just not standard, are we?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 07:31 PM

my friends, I am totally aware that dyslexia and other learning disabilities are NO joke, and I do not expect someone who has them to cope with spelling and grammar easily...but..I AM concerned with an attitude of "it isn't worth my time to try, or to, for Pete's sake, LOOK UP unfamilar words!

...a story:
I used to be a graduate teaching assistant (Philosophy) in one of those BIG classes in college,,(300+ students)...in order to expose them to a bit of what Philosophers did, we'd occasionally have visiting lecturers and offer extra credit points to students who'd attend and turn in a 1-2 page synosis of the lecture.

So..one day Prof. Roderick Chisholm was to speak. The subject revolved about Epistemology, and used Hericlitus' statement that "you can't step into the same river twice" as a theme...and a few days later I had about 100 little papers to grade,(about ½ of the submissions).

Here is a partial list of the Philosophers that my students told me that Prof. Chilson, Chissum, Chisom, Chisum, Chilsome...etc..referred to: ...Heraclitus, Ariolitus, Ariclides, Hericlides, Hericlydes, Periclitus, Pericles, Heroclitus, Heroclytus, Hera clites, Hariclidus, Heraklitos, Heraqitus, Hericlatus, Haricletes, Arclydas, Hericlytis, Haroclydas, Ericlidis, Airalidus, Erraclitus (I like that one!), Caraclitus, Peraclutus, Aeroclides, Procritic, St. Colitions, and....Aristotle!(spelled perfectly, and totally wrong!)

Professor Chisholm's name was freely available on flyers, and Hericlitus was in their textbook...they simply didn't LOOK!..and they didn't listen, and they guessed with no idea of what they were aiming for. Yep...some of those kids may well have had real problems, but many just did not care, and at that time I was not well equipped to teach 'caring'. Seems as though it is still a tricky thing to instill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 07:42 PM

I suppose it's always been either terrorise them or intrigue them.

They were still very much into terrorising when I was at school, with a pretty free use of beating, but it was the ones that intrigued us with the subject that I remember. But it's a lot harder to do. (And sarcasm in a teacher is worse than beating any day, I reckon.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 07:58 PM

We don't need no education
We don't need no voice control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all, your just another brick in the wall...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: sophocleese
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 08:02 PM

Thanks Mbo. I hate that song. I try very hard not to have it running through my head. I'm successful for a long, long time and then you go and post the words for me. Thanks a lot! AAAAAAAARGH!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 08:08 PM

"All in all, your just another brick in the wall... "

you're sorry, Mbo...couldn't resist..*BG*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 08:12 PM

that didn't print like I expected. It should have had a break in there...you're.......sorry, etc...

(I will NOT make a regular habit of correcting these things in an off-the-cuff forum like this)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: GUEST,Mbo
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 08:19 PM

Sorry, not my fault. I copied the lyrics from another site.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 08:30 PM

Hi ya kids:
One way to understand the machanics of a learning disablity from the inside, is right left confusion. There is very little more simple than right and left, this side, that, my right and left hands have been with me, well, as long as I can remember, in fact, intellectualy I know the difference and can tell them appart (the left one is the one with the wedding ring and like most boat bilders, all the scars). On the other hand, it is imposible for me to tell right or left by reflex after all these many years. Now, that is a two item system. Imagine the diffuculty of a twenty six item system with an infinite number of araingements. NO WAY I can make a reflex out of recognising a word, no matter how many times I look at it. Funny though, my spelling is even worce if I write by hand, if you can imagine that, because as a musician I have developed a small degree of mussle memory associated with typing. So all who have children whose synapsis don't fire very well, after they put the electords all over the kid's heads and find out the problem, get em a computer and fight the school for the right to that very reasonable accomodation.
All the best to all
Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Escamillo
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 10:27 PM

Don't forget about us, poor souls whose native language is NOT English, and are terrified by spell-checkers ! :)
Un abrazo - Andrés (Escamillus terribilis errorem lingualis)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 06:12 AM

Rough Diamond

I need to learn

You, teach me how to earn

Try to kill the flame inside

That needs to burn

I need to run

Not to walk in line

Take hold of this rough diamond

And make it shine

Not to pass some test

But to be my best

To be as good as I can be

And not step on the rest

You teach me the how

But not the why

You teach me how to crawl

When I've wings to fly

Trample all the new growth in the forest

To get some to the top of the tree

You let me wear this badge of failure

When it's you that's failing me

I may not be wise

But you may be surprised

If you could see the world

Through my eyes

Don't take, the few

Teach me too

Then you can learn from me

As I learn from you

Teach me how to grieve

How to believe

How to find a lover

And how to leave

How to share

How to care

Show me wild horizons

And take me there

Roger Gall 1996.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 06:56 AM

That's it Sham!

There are people who'd say that in order to play music you have to be able to read it. It's a lie, and one of its effects is that you have children and adults who can play and read, but who are scared stiff to play unless they've got a written sheet of notes in front of them. And all the others who can't read and daren't begin to play. (And I'm not denying that being able to read music is extremely valuable.)

For a lot of people, you have to learn to do something before you can begin to learn how it is you do it. And with other people it's the other way round - and a lot of the problems with teaching and learning comes because so many people (teachers, parents, politicians) seem to assume that the way that works for them is the way that works for everyone.

And Escamillo, with Spanish spelling you don't really need a spell checker. You've got spelling that is consistent.

(The trouble with spellcheckers is that you can get to trust them. And then you find, for example, you've written "I will not help you" when you meant to say "I will now help you.")


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Bagpuss
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 07:19 AM

Yet again I haven't read the whole thread, because I'm lazy, so excuse me if I repeat someone.

I think another reason for poor academic success in both the US and the UK is fundamental to our school systems. We both begin our children at school to early. Research has shown that at the age of 4 or 5, many children are simply underdeveloped for the tasks they are trying to learn - many of them do not have the necessary motor skills for writing. The is particularly true for boys. The effect of this is that some children "learn to fail" and do not develop the necessary self esteem because they always feel they are behind everyone else. Evidence that shows this has an effect all through school is that those who start school younger do a lot worse in exams even at the age of 16 than those who started school later (ie comparing those who started just after their 4th birthday with those who are almost 5 when they start). In most european countries they don't begin any sort of formal education until they are at least 7, and there is far less of a skills gap between the most and the least able - and less of a gap between boys and girls.

The UK in particular has become too focused on league tables, and testing children every couple of years - including at the age of 5. I can only believe that this will worsen the problem. Not only are younstruggling more than your classmates, but even at the age of 5, you have the scores to prove it.

And of course we just make it more difficult for people with dyslexia by having bizarre spelling - dyslexia is a much smaller problem in counties with phonetic spelling with consistent rules.

Bagpuss


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: kendall
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 07:23 AM

my spell checker only tells me if a word is wrong. It never tells me how to spell it rite!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Bagpuss
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 07:39 AM

Mbo - isn't it "we don't need no *thought* control"??

Or is it yet another song I have been singing wrong for years...?

Bagpuss


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: RichM
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 07:43 AM

English itself didn't spring fully formed into version 2000!

Languages change. They evolve into dialects and new languages. This is absolute, and unavoidable.
The very rules of spelling and grammer that are being discussed in this thread WILL CHANGE. Before printed books became commonly available, spelling was a matter of the writer's personal choice and interpretation.

Spelling was a big deal when I went to school (starting in 1948). But soon it may also be a big deel, deil or dele :)

Rich McCarthy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Mbo
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 07:44 AM

Yeah it is, Baggie.....guess the lunatic was out last night.

--Matt (see you all on the dark side of the moon!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Ringer
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 08:00 AM

As I see it, there are two closely-related causes for the present sorry state of education:

First is society's current philosophical rudderlessness. Over the last 2 centuries, or so, society has rejected all moral certainties, so that now there is perceived to be no basis for authority. If there is no authority, what right has one person to teach another? Or assert that this spelling is right, that wrong? Thus arose the popular current idea that kids should be "encouraged to learn", rather than taught. It sounds very enlightened, but has caused untold damage. And a welcome move away from it may be discerned, I think.

Second, for identical reasons, no one has any right to discipline (=punish) another, so that now teachers spend all their time trying to maintain some semblance of order in their classes, and the success of a lesson is judged by whether it did or didn't degenerate into a riot, not by whether the kids actually learned anything. Unfortunately, I can see no move away from this at present (in England, anyway).

When I was at school (40 years ago), all the philosophical conditions that have led to the current educational mayhem were in place, but they hadn't percolated down into the educational establishment, so that I was taught and punished (and am now grateful for that). But the fat's really in the fire, now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Bagpuss
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 08:14 AM

While its probably true that many teachers cannot keep control in some classrooms, I believe that is primarily because of the way schools are set up, so that middle class - mainly well behaved kids go to one school, while the more disadvantaged and more difficult kids are lumped together in other schools. makes life much harder for the teacher.

My husband is a teacher, and he has discovered that keeping discipline with these kids, mostly doesn't involve them being scared of you, or shouting at them a lot. His most effective way of controlling a kid is to make some remark to the misbehaving kid that gets the rest of the kids laughing at him/her. Another is to laugh at their inappropriate jokes, for about one second, then suddenly stop and look at them very sternly, that works a treat. His other rule is to always give a kid a way out - a way to back down - don't keep raising the stakes so that their only alternative is to completely lose it.

He has some pretty bad classes, but he still manages to get some teaching done.

Bagpuss


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Grab
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 09:51 AM

Re Bagpuss, IIRC from my time at school, learning was phased in quite gradually. The first year in particular was mostly to get you used to being around other kids, and then getting you used to staying still long enough to have a lesson. Whilst European countries don't start 'formal' education that early, they have kindergartens which go from age 3 or 4 to fulfill a similar role.

The biggest problem (Gervase came up with it, I think) is the lack of education at home. If the teacher's trying to teach, but the parents are saying "We never needed education", or "I won't read to you, sit and watch the TV" then they're unlikely to get anywhere. I was reading from before I can remember - my parents say that I was reading Winnie the Pooh to my sister around 3 or 4! - and that's exclusively down to my folks encouraging reading. In fact, they decided not to have a TV, and that _made_ us read for entertainment.

And reading is the best way to pick up grammar. Written language is a slightly different beast from spoken language, and like any language you learn it best by doing it, not by learning the theory.

If you banned everyone with children between 2 and 7 from owning a TV, you've have a lot less illiteracy...

Grab.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Bagpuss
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 10:04 AM

I agree that parental attitudes are a hugely important part of a child's learning.

I don't agree that TV per se is a big problem - its whats on the tv that is a problem. Recently, I was at a talk by Oliver Postgate - creator of Bagpuss, The Clangers etc, and he had a few sharp words to say about the Teletubbies. he said you shouldn't give children only what they expect and already enjoy - because then there is no room for wonder and imagination. The old kids tv programmes made kids use their imagination - they weren't just something to be plonked in front of to keep the kid quiet. They stopped showing Bagpuss on TV when the BBC heard of research that said to hold a kids attention, there had to be some sort of action every 3 seconds. If everything is fast and something is always happening, there is no room for imagination.

Oliver Postgate also said the Teletubbies really scared him, because it was obvious to him that outside of the big green hill was a post nuclear wasteland. They lived underground and had to wear funny suits when they came above ground because of the radiation levels. And the sun baby was Big Brother watching them.....

I'll never be able to watch Teletubbies in the same way again...

Bagpuss


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 10:21 AM

"What right has one person to teach another" - it's not a question of one person having a right to teach other people. There's a duty to pass on the knowledge and skills to the people who want them and need them. And we all have a duty to seek out the knowledge and skills we need.

"I have a right to teach you to play the guitar" - it wouldn't seem to make much sense to say something like that. "If you want to play the guitar, I can teach you" would make sense. It might even make sense to say "It is my job to try to teach you to play the guitar and that is what I am going to do."

I think it often makes things much clearer to leave aside talk about rights, and talk about reciprocal duties. (So in Civil Right terms it wouldn't have been "I have a right to be served at this lunch counter" but rather "You have a duty to serve me - and I have a duty to insist that you serve me.")


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Bagpuss
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 10:23 AM

Another thing. Has anyone else noticed that it seems far more acceptable to admit to problem with maths compared with reading and writing? I have a friend at work who is in research, in a post which demands that she at least be able to do basic statistical tests, yet she is always asking me how to calculate percentages...

To me, thats the numerical equivalence of not being able to read books with "long words".

I remember Arts students at university talking about how they were terrible at maths and can't even do the simplest of calculations, but if a science or maths student mentions they have never read any shakespeare or whatever, they are looked down upon.

Does anyone have any idea of why this is?

Bagpuss


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: robroy
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 10:55 AM

I refer to all those who do or may need to utilise their spell checkers in order to ensure that their spelling is correct and of course all the other wonderful things we do with our PCs. Not sure this is too relevant but it's an interesting story. I was a Surveyor in HM Forces and we were taught how to do all the complex calculations by logrithms then later by slide rule, even later by mechanical calculating machines (Brunsviga and Twin Marchant)until finally by electronic calculating machines which got smaller and smaller and incredibly faster and more accurate. Then one day we lost all ourbatteries.... I think one day in order to communicate we may have to resort to pencil and paper. We probably won't but I'd like to think we could still communicate correctly and not misunderstand because of a common spelling error.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Susie
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 12:48 PM

I agree with the point which has been raised many times in this thread about seeing the written word helping with spelling - the reference to "beetle" and "beatle" being a good case in point, but which would have lost its relevance (and presumable the "Fab Four" would not have bothered with the pun) had that generation not been literate.

Some spelling errors make me chuckle ("glass bowels" instead of "glass bowls" on a wedding list - but no harm done there), others make me shudder in horror at the low level of accuracy which is becoming accepted by people whose very job is communication. I saw "bridal path" instead of "bridle path" on the T.V. in Britain only yesterday and find this unacceptable. The article was no doubt written with only the help of a spellchecker instead of a dictionary, but why didn't the writer already know the difference between "bridal" and "bridle"? If you are going to aspire to be a writer, surely you should learn your art. People in other jobs have to.

I've noticed a creeping decline also in understanding how the language is constructed at all: "should of" instead of "should have" has cropped up in more than one (supposedly well written) book I have recently and I can only conclude that the publishers see it as acceptable. The publishers!! For heaven's sake. These are the people who have our literacy in their hands at the end of the day. If they are content with this, then the messages throughout this thread to read more will not help at all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Ringer
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 02:04 PM

I fear you've missed my point, McGrath: I was describing, as I see it, society's current mores: the bathwater of absolutes has been thrown out of the window, and the rights and duties baby has been thrown out with it.

But, since we're talking about educating kids, I think your "duty to seek out the knowledge and skills" is inappropriate: kids need to have knowledge and skills banged into them; few are mature enough to recognise their duty to learn.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 03:07 PM

We must be doing something wrong, have we money to burn?
It must be an indictment, if you have to force children to learn

It has been my experience that it is impossible for most children NOT to learn. The subject does however need to interest them first.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: kendall
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 03:10 PM

If I woulda knowed you was leaving, I woulda come and saw you off.

Why are rules so important in spelling and grammar? Because without them we would have chaos.Sometimes I have to read a sentence over two or three times to understand what someone is trying to say. Example.. "it is legal" now, one small change.."Is it legal?" Language was invented so we could communicate. If we dont follow the rules, we dont communicate. I know 'spaw was only kidding with that Cletus bit, but, I was always unable to fathom what he was saying because of the suspension of accepted rules of spelling and grammar. Consequently, I skipped over those posts. (Sorry 'spaw, guess I'm just not bright enough to translate that stuff.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 05:02 PM

First is society's current philosophical rudderlessness. Over the last 2 centuries, or so, society has rejected all moral certainties, so that now there is perceived to be no basis for authority. If there is no authority, what right has one person to teach another?

I think Bald Eagle hit it on the head with that statement. Before correct spelling can be taught, a societal need for it must first be identified, qualified teachers put in place, and then those teachers must be given the authority to impart this "needed" information. If there is no need, then let's declare that and forget about it. If there is a need, let's make sure we have the professionals who can impart it, and enforce disciplines needed so that the skills can be passed.

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control

I'm a fan of Pink Floyd, but this has got to be two of their stupidest lyric lines. Maybe you "don't need no education" to be a multi-millionaire Rock Star, but most humans will need some education to get by in the world. The more the better.Education, for Christ's sake, is an OPPORTUNITY. Children are not mature enough to comprehend this. It is our duty as adults and parents to see that they receive an education in the meantime.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: kendall
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 05:54 PM

Most of the teachers we have today were educated by the same failed education system that we rail against. That should bring you up short.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 07:47 PM

The key phrase in that quote from The Wall is "dark sarcasm in the classroom" - it seems to me it's aimed at a style of teaching that crushes individuality and imagination. It's been around a long time. I think Dickens referred to it in Hard Times as "child-breaking".

In fact it's possible to read the lines as:

We don't need no-education.

We don't need no-thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom!

The job of teachers isn't stuffing information into children's heads. It's education. That means encouraging them to want to learn, and equipping them with the tools they need for learning. And the main tools they need is curiosity, and a belief that curiosity can be satisfied. If you've got that, you've got everything, and learning to read is a natural process, almost like learning to talk. And all the facts in the world are just a click away.

It's a terrifying responsibility, and all the harder because the values and ideals of education are almost totally at variance with those that dominate the society around the schools - and they are under constant attack from the people who hold power.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Homeless
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 08:07 PM

For those not familiar with the Pink Floyd song in question, I'll quote the beginning lyrics.

"When we grew up and went to school there were certain teachers who would hurt the children any way they could.
By pouring their derision upon anything we did
exposing every weakness however cleverly hidden by the kids."

Put in context, the chorus changes meaning entirely - not a rebelling against education per se, but against the pain and humiliation method of "teaching." Watching the film strengthens this point.

BTW, when is the last time you heard anyone say the word "yes"? I see it written, but all I ever hear is "yeah."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 08:13 PM

In Junior High School I had a class one semester called Latin Roots. The next semester we studied Greek Roots. In both classes, the idea was to understand basic latin and greek terms that had been incorporated into the English language (ie bios=life logos=study biology=study of life). Suffice to say, I had no interest, was not curious, was forced to memorize these apparently useless terms by a teacher who expected us to sit quietly and do just that. But I learned these roots, because we were tested, and our parents read the reports, and although Greek and Latin roots held no interest,and stimulated no curiosity, I learned them to satisfy the teacher and my parents.

Guess what? Of all the classes I've ever taken, the boring repetitive sessions on Roots were probably the most beneficial to me and to my life. They led to real comprehension of the language. I could understand words I'd never even seen before. In McGrath's definition of teaching, the teacher failed completely. But I did not have the option to ignore the information. Thank God there were people who knew, better than I, what would be beneficial to me. Do I wish that the class had been more fun, more stimulating? I suppose. But what I'm left with, some 35 years later, is not the memory of the class, but the wealth of the information I was forced to learn.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 08:59 PM

Great thread Lej. I've been away for a few days, so I'm glad I didn't miss it.

For years I was a "lazy" speller, and often quite confused by punctuation. Since I also wrote lots of articles, I'd make sure that a more literate person than myself corrected everything before I sent it to it's destination. I have to say that my writing has improved greatly since joining Mudcat though, as I'm really horrified when I've posted something with obvious mistakes in it. In truth, Mudcat has forced me to "slow down" a bit,and that's good. The bottom line is that I check things two or three times before posting (especially when it comes to "headers"). I still can't shake the useing of brackets constantly though.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: GUEST,Ely
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 01:55 AM

I love apostrophes in words that are plural, not possessive and redundancies like "reason why". As far as people who don't have any idea about the meanings of the words they're using, I got a chuckle a few years ago when a TV reporter did a story on a candlelight "visual" held in memory of Jerry Garcia (but then, maybe candlelight VIGILS are a Quaker peculiarity).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 03:10 AM

But, just as INOBU says, some people are physically/mentally incapable of spelling correctly through no fault of their own; cut them some slack. Rick, "useing"? Seamus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 04:29 AM

The way things are written is beginning to resemble little the way everyone actually speaks. So teaching it is not too dissimilar to teaching a foreign language. New words and phrases are being introduced so quickly now, that not many of us can keep up.

The Shetland Islands, where I lived and my children were largely educated, is a good example. For the dialect spoken is a mixture of Scots and English with a very strong Scandinavian influence. It is very much alive and bears little or no resemblance to the written English, that is taught in the (now very good) schools.

Some of the stories from the older people and their school experiences, if they should 'slip-in' to their natural way of speaking, whilst at school, was pretty harrowing. Despite this, they do generally and surprisingly have a pretty good standard of written English. They have maintained also the living dialect.

My children however, were in a sort of in-between stage. They understood the dialect and spoke a kind of pigeon English, Scots and dialect, whilst writing English to a good standard. They don't really fit in either camp when it comes to verbal language. My youngest daughter (now living in England), will quite naturally, in conversation, make-up her own words, which are easily understood but do demonstrate the problem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Ringer
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 07:21 AM

Agree 100%, Lej


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 07:27 AM

My great concern is that as we concentrate on the content of the eliments of a word, we neglect the meaning of the word and its context in a philosopy of learning. I am much more worried that most Americans believe that justice and revenge are the same word, no matter how they are spelled, and that the definition democracy ends at the pocketbook. Most Americans spell police state C U B A, where I would spell it U S A, looking at the number of folks we have in jail in both nations (proportionally of course). Well, that's all folks...
Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 08:13 AM

"They understood the dialect and spoke a kind of pigeon English, Scots and dialect, whilst writing English to a good standard".

Or even pidgin!…*smiles* Thanks for cutting me some slack. My spellchecker was happy with it though.

Anyone know where pidgin, comes from?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 08:34 AM

My dictionary gives pidgin and pigeon as alternative spellings; it suggests that its "business" re-pronounced in a Chinese accent.

There are two sets of issues in this thread, intertwined, but essentially different.

One is to do with the way language changes over time and place and situation, and what sort of changes and variations people accept and what sorts they see as damaging.

The other is to do with how people best learn, and how we can help people learn what they need to know, and how it is determined what are the things they need to know, in a changing world.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: kendall
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 08:40 AM

Sorry, but, a Police State has nothing to do with how many people are in prison.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 09:07 AM

Not everyone gets to go to prison.

Any state can be a Police State.

But this is a thread dift too far, I'd say. A new thread maybe?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 03:34 PM

People seem to think that there is less literacy than there used to be, but that is just not true--

In the middle ninteenth century, only about 10-15% of American children received a formal education--Most people had no need of it--It was common for one member of a family who had learned to read to read aloud to the others, and it was also common for a person to ask someone who was literate to write and read letters when it was needed.

Even in the early part of this century, you could be a medical doctor with only two years of college, and Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who prosecuted the Nuremburg Trials, only had a single year of law school.

Today, even most minimum wage jobs require some degree of literacy, and many skilled laborers must use automated and computerized machines in their work. The people in these economic classes never needed good reading skills to survive in the workplace, and suddenly, they do--and suddenly, our education system needs to deliver universal literacy--something no educational system has ever been called on to do--until it does, bad spelling will be the least of our problems--

The problem is that even the simple jobs today require high levels of literacy--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 03:59 PM

Getting even the simple jobs today requires proof of high levels of literacy.

That includes jobs where high levels of literacy aren't in fact needed to do the job.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 26 Jul 00 - 02:26 PM

Come over here for a bit, Kevin, we have been going through a very strange period--after years of tight job markets, suddenly things have flipped around, and there are places where kids are being hired just out of college for middle management jobs with six figure salaries--and with the reading and writing skills we have been discussing, as well as comperable social and management skills--

Don't think it will last though, because you won't believe how much damage the combination of poor job skills and post-adolescent smugness and overconfidence can do--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jul 00 - 04:29 PM

"...The combination of poor job skills and post-adolescent smugness and overconfidence can do" - it can get you elected as President it appears. In either party. (And over here you get to be either Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: CamiSu
Date: 26 Jul 00 - 07:56 PM

Fantastic discussion! Maybe we should have a thread...Why are mudcatters such good and caring people? Or is the answer built into what binds us together? I am one of the lucky people who can spell (though I do have a problem with hitting the right keys so I do check everything I post), and find misuse of apostrophes and quotation marks annoying, particularly in public places and newspapers. I've seen some fairly egregious errors in The Christian Science Monitor for heaven's sake! BUT I also cannot tell my right from left without some thought. Two of my kids can spell and one cannot. But they all read and can communicate. I'm afraid that there are just so many kids who aren't taught to care and some of these grow up to be teachers, but I think there are precious few of those. There were teachers who didn't recognize or didn't care years ago as well. I teach literacy to older Vermonters (concentrating on math. There are more people who can teach reading). One of the things I hear the most is "My teachers said I was stupid." This from students in their 40's and 50's. I hear much more now that there are learning disabilities, and we need to come up with ways to deal with these problems. Sometimes it is to explain a math concept in language terms. Often it is to insist that my student is NOT stupid as people who cannot do certain things often come up with amazing ways to compensate. i guess I am saying that no one is hopeless, and we can (even if for only one person at a time) all make a difference. Kids who don't care right now will eventually.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jul 00 - 08:05 PM

"People who cannot do certain things often come up with amazing ways to compensate" - what amazes me is how you get people who can't read a word or read a map who can drive across the country and find their way to places hubndreds of miles away.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 26 Jul 00 - 08:29 PM

How do they know where they are when they get there?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Gervase
Date: 27 Jul 00 - 07:31 AM

M Ted,
The same thing's happening in the UK - and I, for one, am delighted.
My son is dyslexic - very bright, an avid reader but word blind when it comes to spelling. As a result of that (and an ignorant w***er of a head teacher when he was younger who refused to acknowledge that there was a problem), he left school without all those bits of paper that the modern world deems so necessary to being a fully paid-up member of the human race.
However, he's little short of brilliant when it comes to computer systems and networks, and a friend who had enough faith in him to offer him a trial at his company is now impressed enough to offer him a real job with a real salary (a squillion times what I earned at his age).
As a result he's looking forward to making the transition from gifted amateur to professional. And good luck to him!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: InOBU
Date: 27 Jul 00 - 09:05 AM

Gervase: A note of encouragement, I became a boat builder because my teachers did not notice there was a problem, and later in life, went back to school and recieved a law degree from the third best law school in the States. It is easier to go back to school here, than in England, so after a bit of success in business, your son may decide he wants to give school another try, his learning disability sounds much like mine, and with some understanding of how to learn in a school environment (something I figured out on my own, - but now there are programs to do the same) he can do what ever he finds interesting. Feel free to email me if you want any details on what is out their, over here... all the best, Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: Grab
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 08:25 AM

Fine, if you're dyslexic then we'll cut you some slack on spelling. Or if you're foreign and don't speak English too good. In either of these cases, communication is what's important. But the problem is people who should know better coming up with basic errors in language - teachers (particularly English teachers), newspaper reporters, etc. In these cases, a high standard of language skills is essential and should be a prerequisite to getting the job.

I'm afraid that does mean that a dyslexic person is unlikely to make a good news reporter from my point of view, in the same way that a blind person or a mute is unlikely to be very good as a sports commentator. But that's just a case of focussing on what skills you do have - I have no talent at all in drawing, for instance, so I shouldn't be allowed near a job as a graphic artist! If you like, that's a disability of my brain which makes me incapable of it, but it doesn't affect my abilities with other things like guitar.

I'm intrigued about your dyslexic son being good at programming, Gervase - I'd thought dyslexia was a kind of problem with the concept of things in sequence, particularly words and letters. Given that programming requires just that (a sequence of events - do this, then do that), and also requires strict spelling and structure rules for the programming language, it's kind of interesting. Good on him, anyway.

Grab.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 09:06 PM

Dear Grab:
It is the degree of lack of understanding shown in your post which made six of the seven LD law students at NYU afraid of being "outed". The fact is, a reporter's spelling is of no consiquence, that is why papers employ proof readers and copy editors. I was the guy who was open about my disability, as I had gotten into school a year or two before the American's With Disabilities Act, so there was not chance that people would doupt I got in on my merits. In fact, those who got in after the AMA also got in with equal merit, however, lack of understanding on the part of many people make LD students afraid of their tallents being questioned. It is not unlike Black students afraid that the lack of understanding that afrimitive action means equal qualification... I'm in no way vexed with you - yours is a common view... all the best, larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: GUEST,Paddy(1)
Date: 28 Jul 00 - 09:15 PM

Don't start me on dyslexia Doesn't eveyone know, nowadays, that there s at least 7 levels of intelligence, (Gardner 1985) and reading is only one.

Ask yourself (honestly) what is reading and writing.
?

Sorry about the lecture.

Paddy(1)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Illiteracy
From: InOBU
Date: 29 Jul 00 - 08:37 AM

good on ya paddy - larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


 


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 29 October 4:58 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.