English in the News
Below is a selection of articles which are archived online and may be of interest to NATE members. If you know of others please let us know. Keep up to date with our Twitter feed, too.
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- New phonics method 'gets results' - BBC, Friday June 8, 2007
A system of phonics which builds on a child's own language has been found to boost reading skills, academics say.
A study of more than 900 primary school children taught using a system known as linguistic phonics found they made more progress than those who were not. Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Creativity back in favour - Times Educational Supplement, Friday June 8, 2007
Primary schools are abandoning traditional subject teaching and introducing theme-based lessons.
A poll of 115 schools by The TES reveals a significant shift away from secondary-style subject lessons, such as English and geography, towards cross-curricular classes on topics such as chocolate or space-travel.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Cornered on poets - Times Educational Supplement, Friday June 1, 2007
Most primary school teachers could not name more than three poets for children and more than a fifth could not name a single one, a survey of 1,200 teachers by the UK Literacy Association found.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Dyslexia defended as 'very real' - BBC, Tuesday May 29, 2007
Dyslexia charities have rejected claims that the condition is a label used by middle-class parents who do not want their children seen as low achievers.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- In praise of ... dictionary definitions - The Guardian, Friday May 25, 2007
"The meaning of a word," said the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, "is its use in the language." Not according to McDonald's. The burger chain may offer super-size meals but it wants to slim down the English language, by losing the word "McJob".Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Fast food chain wants rewrite of 'insulting' McJob entry in OED - The Guardian, Thursday May 24, 2007
The fast food chain McDonald's is pushing to change the Oxford English Dictionary definition of "McJob", claiming that the term - established in the English language - is insulting to the thousands of staff working in the service sector.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Finger length points towards exam results - The Guardian, Wednesday May 23, 2007
The length of children's fingers could point the way to their future school tests and exam results, researchers said yesterday. Those with a relatively long fourth, or ring, finger are likely to be better at maths than English, a difference particularly striking in boys. But girls whose ring fingers are smaller in relation to their index finger are likely to be stronger in literacy.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Google bans essay writing adverts - BBC, Tuesday May 22, 2007
Google is to ban adverts for essay writing services - following claims that plagiarism is threatening the integrity of university degrees.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Making reading a boy thing - The Guardian, Tuesday May 22, 2007
It isn't well known that the much publicised gender gap in attainment is concentrated in - and caused by - boys' underperformance in one subject: English. The male half of the school population competes perfectly well with their fairer classmates in both science and maths. The problems lie in literacy-based subjects, and are in part a consequence of the fact that given the choice of a rumble or a read, boys will choose the former.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Oxford dictionary botch sparks anger in Bangalore - The Guardian, Monday May 21, 2007
Oxford University Press has been forced to suspend the sale of one of its dictionaries after a reference to the city of Bangalore sparked anger in India.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Kafka confuses tests for 14s - Times Educational Supplement, Friday May 18, 2007
IT IS one of the most analysed short stories of the 20th-century, a dark tale of alienation that has been taken to prefigure some of the worst totalitarian excesses to come.
But for some on the receiving end, Franz Kafka's story Metamorphosis carried a whole new set of torturous implications last week, when it became the basis for a national test taken by 600,000 13 and 14-year-olds.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Holding the phonics: a year wasted - Times Educational Supplement, Friday May 18, 2007
Publishers report poor sales for schemes after the Government takes 12 months to issue official guidance
A YEAR of phonics teaching has been lost as schools have waited for official guidance.
Jim Rose, the former chief primary inspector who carried out a review into how it was taught in 2005, concluded that, by five, all children should be getting a 20-minute discrete lesson in synthetic phonics. The Government then announced a raft of consultations and training.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Scheme aims to get boys reading - BBC, Wednesday May 16, 2007
Secondary schools in England are being given free books for their library, in an attempt to get teenage boys reading. Schools will be able to select 20 books from a Department for Education and Skills list drawn up by librarians.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Education secretary arranges boys' bookshelves - The Guardian, Wednesday May 16, 2007
A list of more than 160 books, from Frankenstein to Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, has been published today in a bid to encourage teenage boys to read for pleasure. [The article includes a link to the full list]Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Dyslexia support initiative launched - The Guardian, Tuesday May 15, 2007
The government has today pledged ?900,000 to launch an initiative that it hopes will improve support for pupils with dyslexia in school.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Primary stereotypes - The Guardian, Tuesday May 15, 2007
Phil Beadle on how each sector of British education views the others as being the realm of the amateur. 'In the space of seven weeks working with experts from primary and adult sectors for this new TV programme, however, I've acquired more new knowledge and skills than in the previous five years combined.'Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Parents will be given lessons on teaching their video generation of toddlers to talk - The Times, Thursday May 10, 2007
Toddlers are to get lessons in speaking and listening as part of a government drive to reduce the worrying numbers of children who are unable to string a sentence together by the time they start primary school.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Teachers visit US to learn theory of happiness - The Guardian, Wednesday May 9, 2007
Secondary school teachers from three education authorities are going to the US this summer to find out how to teach children to be happy.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- Schools urged to teach basic skills - The Guardian, Tuesday May 8, 2007
Schools are in danger of creating "an army of the unemployable" as teenagers leave school with no qualifications, the leader of a headteachers' union warned yesterday.
Mick Brookes, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said there needed to be a radical change to the content of lessons taught to primary school children in order to stem this tide of disaffected youth.Link broken or innaccurate? Please report here
- A world of frogs, wolves and knickers - The Guardian, Tuesday May 8, 2007
Multiculturalism has brought new rhymes to school playgrounds, an avid collector tells Lucy WardLink broken or innaccurate? Please report here