Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Talking in class

Improving the proficiency of our spoken languages is a step in the right direction. People learned to speak first, and only when they discovered that what some people were saying was meaningful then we developed the skill to record speech through writing. What our schools have been doing is putting the cart before the horse and making written language a priority over spoken language because its easier to mark to a standard.

About time they fixed things. I've always believed that as you talk, so shall you write -- so it's pointless to teach people to write before they can talk. If drama and story-telling are truly coming to the fore with today's Parliamentary recommendations, I guess yours truly has a reason to stay employed for a while longer. Apart from needing to eat, of course.

But no exams, please. Some things have to be taught for their utility alone. When you stick in an exam, as soon as the exam is over there's no further motivation to use it ever again. Keep the exams on the written papers, let the oral component just support the written component. That'll be the best deal for everyone.

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