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Friday, September 28, 2007

Eleven Plus Comprehension

One day all schools will be teaching text speak. This must come as schools and parents recognise that children should be allowed to learn useful tools for life.

We can see the advantages of children working through verbal and non verbal reasoning exercises. Our children must learn to concentrate and focus on a task. They must learn to work to specified time limits. The must also learn that preparing for a competitive examination requires hard work and dedication. So in all these areas eleven plus preparation is invaluable. We hope that there will be a positive carry over into other activities.

If our children become more confident then we will have achieved something that will be invaluable in later life.

Just because some adults think that they can not learn a new language then we should we deny our children the opportunity? Text speak is one learning activity that children will be able to relate to. They will be motivated to learn and will be delighted to do any home work that is set.

Once the children have mastered the basics we know that there will be new developments springing up. New dialects will emerge. The children of Manchester won’t want to be the same as the children of London.

Naturally the feel of eleven plus papers will change. Non verbal reasoning and mathematics will be affected to a lesser degree than English and verbal reasoning.

Take, for example, a comprehension passage from Treasure Island. Would Robert Louis Stevenson turn in his grave to see some of the passages translated? Take the section in Chapter 18 where the mutineers arrive:

4T paces farther we came 2 d edge of d W0 & saw d stockade n frnt of us. We struck d enclosure bout d midL of d south side, & almost @ d sAm tym, 7 mutineers--Job Anderson, d boatswain, @ thR head--appeared n full cry @ d southwestern corner.

dey paused az f takN aback, & b4 dey recovered, not onlE d squire & I, bt Hunter & Joyce frm d blok hows, had tym 2 fire. d 4 shots came n rather a scattering volley, bt dey did d Biz.

aftR reloading, we wlkD dwn d outside of d palisade 2 c 2 d faLn nME. He wz stOn dead--shot Thru d hart.

Do we ask the questions on the passage in a traditional form or do we use text speak? Exciting times lie ahead. Any changes like this could not be brought in without consultation. There is no time for this year’s examinations – but who knows for the future. There have been so many changes in education in recent months one more would simply fill another gap in the system.

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