Tuesday 16 July 2013

Tuesday 16th July - Literacy and tosh

There is a lot of absolute rubbish talked about literacy, and how British children fall behind their European counterparts in reading skills.

Have you ever thought about the difficulties of teaching English, compared to well-organised and phonetic languages such as Spanish?

I found this poem on a noticeboard in a little room in a school, where small groups of children who are struggling with the "three R's as they used to be called get extra help.

I've spell-checked this post, but I don't suppose there was much point.

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and slough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
on hiccough, thorough, lough and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead, it's said like bed, not bead -
For goodness' sake don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).

A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear;
And then there's close and rose and lose -
Just look them up - and goose and choose,

And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, come, I've hardly made a start!

A dreadful language? Man Alive!
I'd learned to speak it when I was five.
And yet, to write it, the more I sigh.
I'll not learn how 'till the day I die.

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