simplifyed spelling experiment to accelerate literacy

eito(jpn)   Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:54 pm GMT
Why spelling reform? To me, it's to make lerning easier. But one possible anser would be "to accelerate literacy". Yes, that's the biggest concern to nativ speakers of English, I presume.

Thare hav been sevral different simplifyed spelling sistems such as i.t.a. and SoundSpel. However, keep in mind these cannot be spelling reform skeems. Surely ae/ee/ie/oe/ue for long-A/E/I/O/U could be consistent, but who really wants to respell "take/night/goal/mute" as "taek/niet/goel/muet"? I don't think that's what we need.

We should seek for spellings that ar not eccentric when we lern, read, and use. I want to beleeve that moderately simplifyed spelling sistems will accelerate literacy. We don't hav to deny Magic-E, consonant dubbling, soft-C, soft-G, or even some silent letters.

A retired teacher living in U.S. now wants to launch a project. She has been thinking what would be a good project to carry out in the Los Angeles scool sistem. Sooner or later, she is going to visit mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger. To be breef, she wants simpler spelling sistem to be used for educational purposses, and wants to see what will happen. She beleeves simpler spelling accelerates literacy, but that dusn't mean denial of traditional spelling. Children in scools lern to read and write in simpler spelling, and of corse they can read traditional spelling.

She chose the House-Stile of the Simplified Spelling Society for that purposs. For details, please see this link. ---

The below is part of what she wrote. TS stands for traditional spelling. HS for House-Stile of the SSS. HS is used in her message.

>>Wot should we suggest for a studdy, that would convince the educational establishment and the public that the spelling is at fault? One idea would be to take a series of children's reeders alreddy avalable in TS, & get permission from the publishers to publish an edition ritten in HS, of the same mateerial.<<

>>We would then try out the 2 sets of reeders in 2 paralel scools, or eeven paralel classes in the same scool. The experimental class could be twinnd with a control class havving the same asortment of students, of the same age & developmental levvel, as the first. We expose both classes to the books to the same degree [asuming we can get both teechers to present them the same way] over a certan period of time such as one semester, or maybe a yeer. Then we compare the results in terms not only of ees of mastery but also as to wether the books wer better liked in the HS group.<<

>>One decision we would want to make is wot the age levvel should be of the children. It seems to me we would do better with children who can alreddy reed the beginning primmers. We would want to arange with the teechers to hav the children rite storys based on the books. The spelling in the storys would be corected by the teechers. Or the reserch teem could corect them, if they could be trusted to be onnest about it. The experimental group's riting would be corected on the basis of HS as corect. The control group's riting would be judged on the basis of TS as corect. The number of ''mistakes '' made by the 2 groups could then be compared.<<

Thank you for your atention.
Jim   Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:38 am GMT
Intresting but I woodn't wont tu hav enny kids ov mine exposed tu reformed spelling. Tho I du agree that "We should seek for spellings that ar not eccentric when we lern, read, and use." insted ov going over bord for the sake ov consistancy. I did find the respelling ov "believe" intresting. Why not just drop the <i> & let magic e du the rest?
Robin   Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:40 am GMT
Sir Bernard Shaw
eito(jpn)   Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:35 pm GMT
Opinions ar divided now!

>>I will never go to a mayor that believes Spanish should be used as
well as, or even in place of English in California, to try to get him
to go along with revising English spelling. Especially to do so using
a scheme not intended for that purpose.<<
eito(jpn)   Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:29 pm GMT
>>I did find the respelling ov "believe" intresting. Why not just drop the <i> & let magic e du the rest?<<

They hav a respelling rule like this:

Use ‘ee’ for stressd long E, eg kee, leeflet, except in “be, he, me, she, the, we” or befor anuther vowel, eg theater.

But I obey this rule only partially ... I spell "beleeve"(believe), "breef"(brief), "feeld"(field), "peeple"(people), "preest"(priest), and "skee"(ski). But I still spell "leave", not "leev".
eito(jpn)   Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:01 pm GMT
Manga reading program promotes literacy amung Los Angeles teens
Travis   Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:32 am GMT
The problem I have with this "simplifyed spelling" is that it neither has the universality of the current orthography nor provides a complete, universal orthographic reform that can effectively replace the current orthography for the entirety of the English-speaking world. Rather, it provides a highly dialect-specific half-solution that is too closely tied to the current orthography and its limitations while having none of its universality. (You might say that it is "General American", but in practice what such is is quite dialect-specific.) People being taught this orthography will still have to learn the standard orthography, so why not just teach them it directly? Furthermore, considering the people proposing it, do they expect it to ever be used outside of North America, much the less by speakers of dialects quite different from General American (for instance, by people from Yorkshire)?
eito(jpn)TradSpel   Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:15 pm GMT
>>People being taught this orthography will still have to learn the standard orthography, so why not just teach them it directly? <<

Right enough. And beginners who have just learned the traditional orthography might have trouble reading "simplifyed spelling". The essential problem is that "simplifyed spelling" would be intended for making learning easier, but it does not work well for beginners. Only people with sufficient vocabulary could feel that it would be easier. The worst (or possible?) scenario is that neither immigrant kids nor ESL learners can find any respellings when they try to look for them in dictionaries they have, which will not make anything easier.

To be honest, when I first saw the respelling of "aphorism" somewhere, which was "afforism", I took some extra time to catch the meaning. That happened to me just one week ago... Fortunately, I knew "aphorism" beforehand, but what if I didn't know ...

Nevertheless, I still believe in spelling reform attempts for future learners of English even if such are not good for current users of the language.
eito(jpn)SimplifyedSpelli   Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:28 pm GMT
Rite enuf. And beginners who hav just lernd the traditional orthografy mite hav trubble reeding "simplifyed spelling". The essential problem is that "simplifyed spelling" would be intended for making lerning eesier, but it dus not work wel for beginners. Only peeple with suficient vocabbulary could feel that it would be eesier. The worst (or possible?) scenario is that neither immigrant kids nor ESL lerners can find enny respellings wen they try to look for them in dictionarys they hav, wich wil not make ennything eesier.

To be onnest, wen I first saw the respelling of "aphorism" sumware, wich was "afforism", I took sum extra time to cach the meening. That happend to me just one week ago... Fortunatly, I new "aphorism" beforhand, but what if I didn't no ...

Nevvertheless, I stil beleev in spelling reform atemts for future lerners of English eeven if such ar not good for current users of the language.
Jim   Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:46 am GMT
Attempts at a thorough-going spelling reform have largely been ignored for over a century. Meanwhile English orthography has continued its gradual evolution. I don't see the future bringing anything vastly different and this is probably a good thing.
eito(jpn)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:04 pm GMT
Gradual evolution. Yes! I agree!
eito(jpn)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:29 pm GMT

>>"The trick to doing good on a spelling test is to always remember that
every spelling word has a silent letter in it somewhere."

Oh, the sad truths we hear from the mouths of babes.<<
eito(jpn)   Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:17 pm GMT
Guest   Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:19 pm GMT
It ain't gonna work.
Jim   Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:31 am GMT
Regarding the Tysto page:

1) "Thoro" and "thoroly" don't work for me. I pronounce these as /Tar@/ and /Tar@li/. "Thurra" and "thurraly" would work (but not for Americans).

2) Dropping the <e> (the one after the <g>) from "judgement" (and the like) I find to be a particularly poor respelling because it is this <e> which "softens" the <g> from /g/ to /dZ/. I don't see anybody's suggesting "vegtable". If you want to change the <dge> to <j>, well that's another story.

3) They suggest "changing EI to AI where it is long A" (in part 3, i.e. changing <eigh> to <ai> (or <ay> I guess)). I don't think that this is all the necessary. One problem spelling reformers come across is the creation of a great number of homographs. A solution I've seen to this is arbitarily to double letters or to add silent ones. It's better (in my opinion) just to allow (a few) different graphemes for the one phoneme (& vice versa).

4) "Using EA only to make the long E sound or E and A (like create) is a simple change that makes spelling and pronunciation more reliable." they suggest. I'm not sure that this would work for all dialects. I don't have the time now to go digging up details tho.

5) "To show that this scheme simplifies rather than complicates, these reforms make the affected words about 7% shorter overall. That would make text require about 1% less space for printing." they write. It is a mistake to equate shortening with simplification. I wonder whether the author would prefer "reflexion" to "reflection".