The other day, I was at Starbucks meeting with an educational psychologist who had long since graduated from USC, now retired. We discuss the challenges of our schools regarding language issues. Interestingly, she had recently had a stroke that targeted the language part of her brain, and she has been working to improve her ability to speak again. He explained to me that to overcome challenges with ESL (English as a Second Language) children we must focus on “Simple English.” What are you asking?
Well, you see, you told me that Charles Kay Ogden, a linguist and philosopher, wrote a book called; “Basic English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar” in the late 1920s and published in 1930. He also explained the need to keep it simple and get these children to speak at least simple English as a bridge to help them understand So they can learn in our school system, otherwise how could they graduate if they can’t read or write?
Today, more than 24% of the world speaks English, and it is both the business and computer language of the world, it is an essential skill for living and doing business with the first world. There was an interesting article in Futurist Magazine in the March-April 2012 issue titled “From the Three Rs to the Four Cs – Radically Redesigning K-12 Education” by William Crossman – where the author also contemplates a totally new concept that ;
“The battle against illiteracy has focused on teaching everyone to read and write text. But new technologies that facilitate more holistic learning styles, involving all of the learner’s senses, can open the closed shops of global knowledge to Instead of reading, ‘ritual and rhythm, we will move on to critical thinking, creative thinking, “compact language” and calculators. “
Okay, this is intriguing, but why not a combination of types? Why not teach “basic English” the Charles Kay Ogden way, and then move on to a new way of learning from here, holistically, so to speak, as William Crossman suggests? And it is not that it is a new concept, in fact, you would like to read “Education in Crisis: A Sociological Analysis of Schools and Universities in Transition” by Ronald G. Gorman (1974).
It seems we have so many people talking about all this, so many research studies and conferences, committees and debates, that we are failing another generation of children simply because we don’t make a decision and don’t act. If anyone can learn English, at least simple English, then surely we should focus on the minimum and then accelerate what works and teach in a way where genetically human brains are formatted to learn and use the information imparted. Anyway, consider all of this and think about it.