November 30, 2004

Someone's got a (spelling) bee in her bonnet

Linda Schrock Taylor has apparently had it with poor spelling education:

Schools only pretend to teach spelling. Children are assigned spelling books in many classrooms; in many schools. Lists of words are included; activities around those lists are completed; tests are given. So…why is yet another generation of poor spellers being sent out from the schools, into the working world, where they are lost, even with computers and tools such as Franklin Spelling Aces?

The main reason for this outrage is that possibly as many as 99% of the teachers do not understand that English is written in an alphabetic Code, and that this Code for English is used to encode auditory speech and inner speech (i.e. thought). Most teachers are not even aware that English is well structured and logical...

My early teachers often gave me only part of a spelling rule, then told me that everything else was an exception or a rule breaker...They wasted my learning time and allowed me to develop totally inappropriate strategies for spelling my mother tongue...

To make matters worse, textbook writers do not understand the surface, let alone the underlying structures and layers of English, so they write textbooks that fail to teach spelling, rather than writing books that would help teachers, who have already been so damaged by their own schooling, both in the grammar years, as well as in teacher training classes, to make mental repairs and finally learn how to spell logically, and how to teach logical spelling. Modern textbooks only offer lists of words that anyone could put together so that a child might work on memorization – although certainly not on spelling.

Don't hold back, Linda - tell us how you really feel.

Posted by kswygert at November 30, 2004 03:32 PM