Spelling holds children back
IN his Talking Heads column in The Post, writing about how this summer's cohort of pupils taking their GCSEs had been treated unfairly, Peter Fraser, the headmaster of Colston's School, referred to his particular concerns about literacy and numeracy.
Children in English speaking countries have to overcome the obstacle of English spelling, which puts them behind children in other countries by several years. Most countries do not have such a problem to overcome. One of the best examples of how well a country can do when its spelling records pronunciation is Finland. With regard to numeracy, countries in the far east have more efficient numbering systems than that used by English speakers.
Modernisation is likely to come in Ancwe (Ancillary World English) rather than in national English. Examples of improved spellings already in use in much of the world are 'catalog', 'color', 'jewelry', 'labor' and so on. To get to where the Finns are, there will have be many more improvements.
In English speaking countries, governments would rather blame pupils than address the real problem, which is the chaotic English spelling. It is easier for governments to do nothing than grasping the nettle of spelling reform. The reform of Ancwe will need to be tackled world wide.
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T R Spratt
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The Saxon Language Board