Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 1, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Wdoy, October 1, 1970 THE LETHBR1DGE HERALD r Variety is A sfsp further teacher helps out at Gilbert Paterson School Alphabet years out of date The alphabet as it exists in mos t western E uropean lan- guages is absurd, quite stupid in fact, and abotit two thous- and years out of date. Actually, it -was dated as soon as it was born and in addition, it has crucified children down through the ages and never more so than in modern The Roman alphabet is ridi- culously inadequate set of bols. The human creature is ca- pable of producing between for- ty- and fifty different sounds. The alphabet ought to have enough symbols to cover all these sounds. Many of the lan- guages of India are adequately supplied with symbols and even Eskimos possess a simple sys- tem which gives them forty- eight symbols to work with. It is assinine for grown up men and women who claim the highest intelligence and matur- ity to declare that and COUGH' are readily recognizable as differ- ent sounds requiring different pronunciations. It us nothing less than vicious to impose this kind of absurd- ity on six year olds. What pre- cisely does the 'GIF do for the word or 'right'? These are but two of hundreds which pepper the English language. The Roman alphabet contains only twenty six symbols more than a dozen short of what is needed for human ex- pression. The situation so infuria ted George Bernard Shaw, the Ir- ish that he left a A for the parents 1. It isn't wise to spoil me. I know that I ought not to have ihr.t I ask for. 2. Be firm v.uh me. It makes me feel secure. 3. Correct me quietly, in pri- not in front of people. 4. I don't hear very veil when J am angry. It is all right to take the action required, hut let's talk about my behavior a little later. 5. Overlook some of my mis- takes or I may be afraid to try anything. 6. I need to loam the hard way sometimes. You can't pro- tect me all the time. 7. Sometimes I pretend to nave pains and aches just to get attention. 8. You let me down badly if you don't keep your promises. 9. Be consistent with me so that I won't lose faith in vour guidance. 10. It is better to lead me than to force me. 11. If you nag me I may pro- tect myself by appearing deaf. Finally, we suntrcst you teen your efforts to prepare the youngster for formal schooling at the "fun" and "play-a-game" level. Children learn while play- as a rnatier of fart so do_ adults. Industry and the military have capitalized on t.liis notion of "gaming'1 by training t. h e i r executives through the use of simulated ao- livii ics. Many people, nlas oven edu- cators, have critic kinder- garten activities for allowing too much time for play, r For- tunately, there are refresher courses at our universities in educational psychology design- ed to keep the educator well informed in these areas Ther efore, a good ni 1 e of thumb for parents might be that when your youngster no longer enjoys an activity de- signed to improve his intellcc- rural capacity, perhaps it is time to move on to something different. A good deal of credit for this publication must go to the Ed- monton Public School system and their booklet entitled paring for School." large sum of money to be giv- en to any person or group of persons who would construct and implement a new alpha- bet. CARRIED OUT Such an experiment was car- ried out in recent years in some selected London schools. Books, using a much supple- ment alphabet, were printed for grades one to four. Children learned to read much more ra- pidly in the initial stages. Gra- Useful books Other useful books for par- ents 1. Child Training. Pamphlets. Free from the Health Unit. Each pamphlet discusses a dif- ferent phase of child training. 2. The First Big Step: Na- tional School Public Relations A s s o c i a tion. 1201 Sixteenth Strr-et. NAV. Washington Tf. cents.' f A Handbook' for Par- 3. Head Start Books: S. Lewis and J. Reinach, McGraw Hill Book Co., Toronto, 19611 ?2.30 each. Knowing and Naming Looking and Listening (cX Thinking and Imagining. Before Six A Report tin the Alberta Early Childhood Education S'uidy. FX) fonts. The Allxirta School Trustees' As- sociation, 312 Street, Ed- monton, Alberta. dually, they were weaned off the augmented alphabet onto the regular one with no ill ef- fects because they had ma- tured so much more by the time they reached Grade" 5. Naturally, serious considera- tion was given to confirming the process and eventually raise a generation of r e a d e r s accus- tomed to the new alphabet. Ctf course, like the decimal sys- tem, it ran into prejudices. S'uch prejudices arc really man's inhumanity to children. To use a football term, society throws a block at kids imme- diately they start school. The Roman alphabet not only does not have enough symbols, it also imposes duplicat i o n. There are 26 capitals which are formed one way, and 2G small letters which are made a dif- ferent way. The absurdity is complete when children have to from printing those letters to 'join up' or long- hand script. Yet. educators perpetuate this cruelty of con fusion while par- ents tolerate it smuggly. It seems quite easy lor adults to remain indifferent to some vi- tal factors in the child's world. A new alphabet is needed be- cause it is the fundamental key to the mechanics of reading, and reading is the key to the lives of countless thousands of children who, because ol their minority, cannot do anything to help themselves today. A rich background of varied experiences is important to the child's learning. Everyday Ufa offers many opportunities for such experiences. 1. Daily household duties pro- vide number, shape, size and color concepts seating the table for tho number coming home for selecting large or small plates, round or square pans; matching colored towels and face cloths; select- ing the required kitchen uten- sils or garden tools; naming flowers, vegetables, fruit, la- bels from cans and classifying ihem into simple categories, e.g, vegetables which crow in the ground nr a b o v e tins ground; shopping in kinds of stores (drug tuvre, ba- kery, 2. Stimulate the chiKI's im- agination. Do no-t Eupi-Sy him, wit h loo n i a ny t oy 1.1 her, let him keep an "odds an'] ends box" in which he ke-vps mate- rials for building anti r.rclend- ing all sorts of things, 3. Give him time to to you. STiow him picture's and let him tell you what is happening in them. Read or tell him sto- ries and act his favorites with him. Announcing news and weather reports on his toy tele- phone or radio is a good expe- rience. His reading n-rHcve- ment depends largely his ability (o express oral- 4. Give your child f-r-; t'.CJi 'o sec I'tT osi ing places such 700, firohnll, post pffici-. ?r.5Hvay s t a t i o n. nirrsort. oil fhicry, dairy, and 5. Lot him watch nature a bud opening into a a chicken hatching i'rom ii? shell, the wonders of pond life and the lake shore, the moving nyion and stars, and the cimnging color of the rabbit's fur. fi. Does he watch Mr. Dress- up and Romper Room? 7. Check- ers. An abundance of meaningful experiences will give him t.lic vexvhuhiry and concepts n-G- crssary for )iis future learning to read, write and think. ess The term 'readiness' suggests that "there is an opportune time for any particular learn- ing and that attempts at in- struction before this state has been reached are usually la- borious and unsuccessful." Educators agree that readi- ness depends upon the mental, physical, pc-uinl, emotional, nnd psycholo g i c a 1 fad ors. These factors apply at all levels of learning, nnd tend to interact with each other. The following can bo used as a check list to determine when a child is ready For beginning reading instruction: 1. Has a mental age of six years or more. 2. In good physical condition. 3. Works and plays well with the children in his class. 4. Is einationally stable. 5. Ts interested in listening to stories. (I. Remembers events of a story in sequence. 7. Memorizes short rhymes easily. 8. Anticipates ideas and ev- ents when listening to stories. 0. lias a speaking vocabu- lary large enough to express ideas clearly. 10. Follows directions g i ven orally. 11. Concentrates on activities required for learning to read. 12. Can match word forms easily. 13. Distinguishes similarities nnd differences in the sounds of words. 14. Co orcl i n a tes eye and hand movements rcasnnab 1 y well. 'A Reading Department of Edtication, Ed- monton.