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March 16, 2006



if we wont to help all pewpils speek inglish we shud think abowt speling reform.

too much energi goze in to lerning how to spel - not liek italian, spanish or uther funetic langwiges.

then we cud spend ower tiem lerning uther things, erlier.

txt msages cud do this 4 us eni way


An extremely thoughtful, and -provoking, post. Admit I've not read the linked studies yet. Two points, though. You seem to be stereotyping all who advocate Comprehensive education by assuming they also advocate increased spending on education. In my case at least, not true. I would look at education in highly developed countries (eg UK) versus developing, then compare the results - and conclude that the UK system delivers extremely poor value for a lot of money.
Second point is in response to Dander's comment (which may have been lighthearted in intent, but I think there's a serious point). Many 'consumers' (to put it crudely) of the products of the British Education system now complain bitterly of these products' inability to communicate (despite so many of them having studied "media studies"). I'd tend to believe their (often anecdotal) evidence based on my own (unavoidably anecdotal) experience in foreign countries - if you speak and write well (ie grammatically) in English, there's a much higher chance that your interlocutor will understand what you're trying to say. As an example, some Jamaican English speakers were seconded to a Russian posting. I, being a native English speaker, was easily able to understand their accented and colloquial speech. Russian speakers (including professional translators) later told me that they couldn't understand a word that our Jamaican colleagues had said. No racial comment is intended here - I am certain that the same situation would occur if Aberdonians, Orcadians, or Cockneys attempted to communicate with non-native English speakers without resorting to 'unnattural(?!)' Received Pronunciation (Queen's English) and correct grammatical structure.

Mike Stallard

OK, I think I understnad Comprehensives.
Two tiny whys?
1. Why do they have to be so enormous? Primary Schools aren't. Everyone knows everyone else and the discipline (at least here in difficult Wisbech) is excellent.
2. Why does every huge school have to be the same? Why cannot we have religious ones? Muslims, Christians, Jews, Catholics, like me, can all live together in a religious school and start the day with an act of worship. This could be either in the same school, or in a "faith" school. Why not? Why should the atheists dictate what everyone else has to believe? Isn't that undemocratic?

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