Literacy

Losing punctuation

slashgirl writes "An editorial lamenting the lack of punctuation these days (I wonder if she's read "Eats, shoots, and leaves"?). 'Animals with brains invariably have ways of conveying meaning and messages. Horses flick their ears and lower their heads to say they want to be friends. Peacocks fan out their tail feathers to signal their availability and ambitions to hens. People wink and pose in a multitude of body language ways that speak volumes.

And on paper, in English, there are a host of shapes and marks that communicate meaning. Letters of the alphabet more or less symbolize sounds. Capitalized letters signify some sort of special value. Punctuation marks indicate when to stop or pause, question or exclaim when speaking what is written; they provide a sort of frame around the ideas on the page, to help keep things organized.'

The rest here."

Swaziland Govt Blows the Dust Off the Covers in Libraries

Anonymous Patron writes "allAfrica.com Has This Report on the Swazi government's efforts to increase literacy. They just announced new measures to revive school and public libraries, with improved training for teachers and librarians. The education ministry estimates that 70 percent of Swazis are literate, but the degree of literacy is under debate. The high number of secondary school students who failed English in recent exams was attributed to poor reading skills: three-quarters of students failing Standard 5 exams could not pass the English test."

Dolly's book-a-month program for kids expands in Tennessee - Thursday, 02/10/05

Anonymous Patron writes "Imagination Library, a national literacy program that provides free books to kids, was started nearly a decade ago by country music star Dolly Parton as a way to provide 60 children's books —at the pace of one a month — for every newborn in her native Sevier County.
The Tennessean has this article,
Dolly's book-a-month program for kids expands in Tennessee - Thursday, 02/10/05, as well as Program Details, and A Startup checklist Are they leaving libraries out in the cold?"

New York State Library's Statewide Summer Reading Program License Plates

Anonymous Patron writes "New York State Library's Statewide Summer Reading Program has 2 new license plates to benefit the Summer Reading Program. They decided to pass on the @ Your Library them and went with "Love Your Library" and "Read-Learn-Explore"
Sadly, LISNews logos were also overlooked."

Booktrust to expand 'Books for Babies' scheme

The Guardian Reports on Booktrust, the charity responsible for a raft of national reading programmes and literary prizes, including the National Children's Book Week, the Children's Laureate, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Nestle Smarties Book Prize, today outlined its intention to expand its Bookstart 'Books for Babies' scheme over the coming year.

The Classics and the Working Class

Rob Lopresti writes "Everyone knows that uneducated bluecollar workers have no use for Shakespeare, the Iliad, or poetry. But is everyone right? Jonathan Rose argues, with plenty of evidence, that miners, mill workers, and servants have always had a fondness for such stuff. The most fascinating part of the article is the patronizing words of Marxists and the like who decided that the classics were bad for the workers. Full Story"

Impact of Computer Use on Reading Achievement of 15-year-olds? Depends!

The Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development recently issued a report called Impact of Computer Use on Reading Achievement of 15-year-olds. The study seemed to find that using computers at home helped reading, but using computers in libraries might hurt:

"Multivariate analysis indicated that over and above family and individual characteristics,
only a few ICT variables obtained significant correlations with PISA reading scores. Home computer access was positively related with reading skills, but on the other hand, using computers often in libraries was negatively related. However, since 88% of 15-year olds had computers at home, the number of students relying exclusively on access in libraries is likely to be small."

Schools to blame for children who hate books

Anonymous Patron writes "This is London has one with a catchy title: Schools to blame for children who hate books They say The "unacceptable" failure of many schools to teach children to read properly is laid bare today in a damning report from education watchdog Ofsted.

Other reports on the study from The BBC and education.guardian.co.uk.
The Ofsted report recommends that head teachers need to take a stronger lead on reading lessons, and teachers should have higher expectations of their children. They should also have firmer strategies to identify children's learning difficulties."

Quiz: Spelling is not child's play

Bob writes "I thought I was a fairly good speller, but evidently not. But who's checking the BBC:

Quiz: Spelling is not child's play. BBC One's Hard Spell, in which children compete to see whose spelling is best, may have reminded many people of their school days.

"

Hamlet' Too Hard? Try a Comic Book

The Christian Science Monitor brings us a story on another approach to get kids to read...the comic book.

Getting reluctant adolescents to read - anything - can be a boon to their discovery of the joy of reading, says Marilyn Reynolds, author of "I Won't Read and You Can't Make Me: Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers." But other experts, such as Diane Ravitch, a professor of education at New York University, says ""Once kids know how to read, there is no good reason to continue to use dumbed-down materials."

Proponents of the "let them read anything" theory suggest that reading comics and graphic novels is in fact reading , something that these kids might not otherwise do, and that it could be a bridge to more complex material.

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