Parallel texts to help with literacy
updated May 2013
I believe in justice in literacy.
In my work as a clinical and scools psicologist I found that too often the disadvantaged, dislexic and forin-born wer held back from literacy by unnecessary dificulties, which handicap child lerners also.
I found that Parallel Texting gave them a chance. This put a parallel the text shorn of its difficulties next to the present text. Only one or two spellings wer necessary for every speech sound, not up to twelve.
I try to persuade teachers to giv it a trial. It harms no one. But everyone is afraid to start, altho my exampl has stood the test of time and experiment since the 1970s.
Why not experiment with Parallel Texts for normal English spelling, that is, paralleld by the same spelling without its snags? Mor foriners and English-speakers could then manage to read it.
One side of each page in a reading book is normal spelling; the other side is ‘spelling without traps’ which helps beginners to read present spelling.
My exampl uses a Dictionary Pronunciation Guide based on the BBC Text Pronunciation Guide, plus 36 very common irregularly-spelled words to lern by rote that make up 12% of everyday text. (The 36 common irregularly spelled words to be lerned by rote which make up 12% of everyday text, include: all almost always among come some could should would half know of off one only once other pull push put two their they as was what want who why very, and international word endings -ion/-tion/-sion/zion)
After that, only 6% of surplus letters in words need be cut, and 3% of misleading letters changed, in everyday text. That indeed makes a difrence for the disadvanaged, who can then read normal texts.
Can u make a trial in one book, for those whom u find hav dificulty?
2011, Yule, Valerie 'Recent developments which affect spelling. On the possibility of removing the unnecessary difficulties in English spelling, while leaving the basic appearance of English print intact.' English Today, 107, vol 27, No 3. Sept 2011, pp 62-67 http://journals.cambridge.org/repo_A839oLF6
http://home.vicnet.net.au/~ozideas/spelling.htm#word Can u spell? The best of us may not be perfect.
1986. The design of spelling to meet needs & abilities. Harvard Educational Review. 56.3. 278 - 297. http://www.hepg.org/her/abstract/489
2002. It's the spelling that's stupid, not me; Taking Ockham's Razor to English Spelling. ABC Radio National broadcast. Ockham's Razor. 5.5.http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/its-the-spelling-thats-stupid---not-me/3505566
Christopher Jolly's Jolly Dictionary uses similar principles. Worth having!