Posts Tagged ‘literacy’
English Paper – Question 9, bmbl gr8 cu focl. Discuss!
Well, every day one learns something new and today I found out that British GCSEs (the state exams taken by pupils at age 16) will henceforth include a section on “text-messaging”.
Yup, you read it right … at a time when many employers are complaining that even university graduates cannot write and spell correctly we are going to spend time in secondary school practising for exam questions on text-messaging, or “the art of not writing proper English because it is so fiddly”.
There are – sadly – so many idiotic things happening in Britain these days that one has sort of got inured, but this takes the biscuit. And the new courses will be not only on the messaging itself but on the “etiquette” of the art …… Am I living in a parallel universe?
What is the “etiquette” of text-messaging? The whole point about this form of communication is its anarchic, personal style. The internet and mobile phoning are two of the few areas of our life where we can communicate exactly as we like with whom we like. Why this OBSESSION with regulating everything? LEAVE IT ALONE!! And CERTAINLY don’t waste precious school time TEACHING how to text message “PROPERLY”.
And as for “PROPERLY”, WHO exactly is to decide? Ah, we need “norms” … we can’t have anything UNREGULATED after all, especially not in modern Britain. Better set up a commission, preferably at EU level and vast expense, with a President (Oh, they DO so love Presidents) to decide for us HOW to text message with “etiquette”.
When I read this I thought it must be April 1st, but “No”, it is serious …. Pupils “will have to write an essay on the etiquette and grammar of texting, using their own messages as examples – earning up to ten per cent of their overall English GCSE mark.”
But the best is yet to come. It seems that this new departure is “part of the Studying Spoken Language module intended to make GCSEs harder.”
“Harder”? Who wrote this garbage? How can anyone claim that and keep a straight face? And of course, once you have text-messaging on the syllabus and in the exam, then teachers will start to PREPARE for it …. precious time will be devoted to it in class …
“Plonkett – why are you on your mobile phone?”
“I’m just practising for my exam, Sir.”
“Oh, that’s all right then.”
The whole thing makes me despair actually. We are paying civil servants large amounts of money to come out with this nonsense. Many kids can hardly read and write now; apart from anything else it is a clear message that writing in textspeak is OK and that the other stuff is a bore.
“Studying Spoken Language”? If this is the aim, why not get kids to study speeches of great orators? Gandhi, Luther King, Churchill, Kennedy? Or even of some of the more eloquent current MPs? William Hague, Vincent Cable and so on? Study what they say? How they get their message across? Discuss and analyse their arguments? That would be fascinating, no? And the kids might at the same time learn something about how their society – and therefore lives – are governed.
Well, No – we have to have “text-messaging” ….
Sorry, our kids deserve better, and so does the British taxpayer.
By Chris Snuggs
Oh, and by the way, the answer to the question at the top of the post is: busting my brains laughing, great, see you, fall of chair laughing. DILLIGAS is all I can ‘say’.