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Same Old 'Cures' For Same Old Problems

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from allan Campbell
NZ representative
Simplified Spelling Society

August 27 2002

Same Old 'Cures' For Same Old Problems

The Government plans to throw more money at the same old literacy problems by invoking the same old symptom-based "cures", says the Simplified Spelling Society in a statement.

To lift our literacy rates to match those of other countries the Government says in the Speech from the Throne that it plans to invest "significant resources" in developing "new literacy assessment tools in years 5 to 7", in doubling the number of resource teachers of literacy, and in improving staffing and resources. All will cost.

If a fraction of this expense was invested in taking steps to urge English-speaking nations to work together on the updating of English spelling, literacy levels would rise without the need for such expansion of teaching numbers and resources. Other things being equal, languages with a systematic alfabetical spelling reach higher levels of literacy earlier, and have more classroom time to devote to subjects more important than spelling.

A little vision in this area by the Government would be welcome.

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