Archive for the Literacy Category

Slipping standards

Slipping standards

We should by now be used to the headlines that scream about falling standards and the statistics that are used to back such claims. Often gross exaggeration, sometimes partial truth, they do however tend to indicate issues worth consideration. The Daily Mail (24 January 2012) revealed the […]

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How basic literacy helped to ward off a few hospital woes

How basic literacy helped to ward off a few hospital woes

I was in hospital recently.  I arrived in the general ward to find two former pupils.  The ward orderly  took one look at me and barked, “Ah ken you, Mr Wood, taught me at Craigie.”  Then the big grin erupted: “Dinnae worry.  You were OK.  I’ll no […]

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THE ENGLISH PATIENT Key subject is ailing as exams fail to address grammar and vocabulary failings

THE ENGLISH PATIENT  Key subject is ailing as exams fail to address grammar and vocabulary failings

The debate on the quality of English teaching has raged since English became a school subject.  Is the balance between the traditional canon and contemporary  literature wrong?  Have formal language skills been jettisoned for creativity?  Is English being ‘dumbed down’? As a retired English teacher and school […]

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Can You Eat, Shoot and Leave?

Bathgate writer, Clare Dignall’s Can You Eat, Shoot & Leave? (Collins, £7.99) is a sharp, humorous sequel to Lynn Truss’s 2003 masterpiece on punctuation Eats, Shoots and Leaves.  Sloppy punctuation, like sloppy grammar, had become increasingly common when Lynn Truss wrote her little master-piece……   This review […]

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For the love of English

For the love of English

For the love of English Given the Scottish government’s emphasis on literacy it is no surprise that the recent debate on Excellence in English was a lively event. Chaired by Marc Lambert of the Scottish Book Trust, the panellists – Lisa Sorbie of Perth High School, Yvonne […]

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Speak and spell oh so well

  Speak and spell oh so well It’s hard to credit that Lynne Truss’s rallying cry for punctuation, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, is now eight years old. At last, with Clare Dignall’s Can You Eat, Shoot & Leave?, a serious (and seriously funny) sequel has hit the […]

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