Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why Can't Johnny Read? Because it's English!

Here is a fascinating article about how difficult the English language really is to read compared to other languages. A few highlights:

 “…the Spelling Society speculates that English may just be the world’s most irregularly spelled language.”


 “Mastering such a language takes a long time and requires abilities that most children don’t develop until the middle or latter part of elementary school.”
The article goes on to explain some of the reasons that spelling the English language became so unpredictable. One reason: it was cast in stone by non-native-language-users.

 “The first English printing press, in the 15th century, was operated by Belgians who didn’t know the language and made numerous spelling errors (such as ‘busy’ in place of ‘bisy’).”

And of course there was the influence of money…

 “…because they were paid by the line, they sometimes padded words with extra letters; ‘frend,’ for example, became ‘friend.'”

 My takeaway is this: When we compare the literacy levels of our children to children in other countries around the world, the difficulty of the language needs to be considered. Somehow, this had not occurred to me before.

1 comment:

  1. Hi ,

    I happened to chance upon your blog and found it very interesting!

    We have recently launched a science app that uses augmented reality to enhance classroom teaching. The app has 3D models for kindergarten to grade 12. I thought you might want to check it out and may be review it on your blog, if possible.

    It is a paid app(with a few models free) but in case you are interested in trying it out I will be happy to provide you with a free copy.

    The link to the app is: 



    You can also search for the app on the app store as 'Augmenter'.

    Do let me know if you would be interested. I am really Looking forward to your response.

    happy teaching!