Tessa's Tête-à-Tête
A disembodied photo of my head. (Normally, I try to keep my head on my shoulders!)
Hello - thank you for
taking the time to visit
my Blog. Please feel free
to add your comment to
any entry via the 'post
your comment' link......
Come back soon.

*SPAM Comments*
N.B. These will be deleted!

I'm Fund-Raising
with Oxfam UK

Help me to buy a Camel
for a Community in Need
links to a secure site for donations
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
        Access Archives
« September 2005 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30
via the Calendar or view...
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Blog Moved
Family Days Out
Festive Season
Films and TV
Health Issues
In the News
Music and Art
My Web Pages
Nature and Our World
Poetry and Poets
Recipes and Food
Special Days
Web Design
Print A Recipe
Brandy Pudding
New England Plum Pudding

On My Website:
Marthe Janssen-Leyder
About Me
The Airman's Story

• Excelent Read •
World War II History
Forced to parachute to safety, Douglas Jennings was helped by the Belgian Secret Army
by Douglas Jennings the RAF Air Bomber featured on my website
Book Details AND
How to Order

My Blog List
An Englishman's Castle
A Product of the 80's
Baghdad Burning
Blognor Regis Cancergiggles
Daily Iraqi Cheese Grader
Jamie's Big Voice
Jonzo's Rantings
The Loom
My Big Trip Blog
Moniales OP
Random Acts of Reality
Re. Tired (Joanna's Blog)
Stephen Pollard
Stu Savory's Blog
The Gray Monk
The Pope Blog

Useful Websites
Dan's Web Tips
HTML Goodies
Lynx Viewer
Rogue Anti-Spyware
Shields Up
Webmonkey Tools

About Chichester
(My Home Town)

Roman Chichester
A Brief History
Chichester Cathedral
Weather Forecast

the old Market Cross in Chichester, West Sussex
Near Chichester
Bosham Village
Boxgrove Priory
Roman Palace
Open Air Museum

Recent Posts:
September 2005


Battle of Britain

Fertility Treatment

The Plumber's Tale of Woe

Learning to Read and Write

Bureaucracy Gone Mad

What is Really Happening in New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina

The Tooth Fairy Forgot to Come!!!

August 2005

More Surgery!"

How I Met Michael Rennie (1909-1971)

"The Sixth Lamentation" - An Excellent Book

French Onions

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)

I'm Recovering Well

Well, I'm Glad That's Over!

Just Me Prattling

The Russian Mini-Submarine

Amazing Animals: The Sturgeon

The Tower Subway

Surgical Pre-Assessment

July 2005

The Coal Delivery

Spyware and Anti-spyware"

Getting Enough Sleep?

An Insidious Cancer

Americans First on the Moon

"The Lion King"

Update on my Biopsy

Have I had my Head Buried in the Sand?


Animal Intelligence

Fl./Lt. Dennis G. Hornsey, D.F.C.

The English Language

London Bombs

Marriage Advice?

My Biopsy

A Message for the World's Leaders

June 2005


A 'Perfect' Day

Amazing Animals: The Emperor Penguin

Crowned on this Day in 1509

A Sweet for a Special Occasion

King Solomon's Mines

Father's Day

Tiger, Tiger....


Cockroaches and Human Fertility

World's Best Character Actor

Computer Decisions

Food for Thought


World Ocean Day

Daft as a Brush (or Two)

Douglas Jennings, RAF Evader During WW II

Lord of the Rings

Driving Me Mad

You are not logged in. Log in

Map of the United Kingdom
This confuses the Spam harvesters

Unique Hits
hit counters
Free Counter added
5th December 2004

Sponsor Link
Baby Stores

Free JavaScripts on this page from

Thursday, 8 September 2005
Learning to Read and Write
Topic: Special Days
I was lucky. I went to a good primary school and I was taught to read and to write - a skill which I now take for granted. It is so much a part of my life that I could not imagine what it would be like not to be able to communicate in this manner. Well, perhaps that's not quite true! There are other methods of writing down English, Pitman's Shorthand for example. I did study it at college but I never truly mastered it and now it would be like looking at Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics for all the sense it would make to me!

Sadly, there are many people around the world who cannot understand their written language. It is for this reason that International Literacy Day has been celebrated globally on the 8th September for the past forty years. Never heard of it? Well, its main purpose is to recognise that the basic learning needs of all human beings, regardless of their age or gender, should be met in every country of the world.
"Although global literacy has risen by 10% in the past 20 years, 785 million adults, two thirds of them women, remain illiterate and 100 million children are out of school".
Since 2000, the event has been expanded to include International Adult Learners' Week.

But this is a problem mainly affecting the developing world, I hear you say. That is true, of course, but the problem also exists right here in the United Kingdom. Sometimes it is a language barrier, sometimes it is Dyslexia, sometimes it is childhood illness or school phobia but it seems that many more children than we realise are being left behind and are leaving school illiterate. This results in many career doors being closed for them and there is a problem of embarrassment and feelings of inadequacy, too. (Do you remember Muhammad Ali being interviewed on Television in the Seventies by Michael Parkinson? Parky asked him to read a passage from a new book and nearly got punched because he had not realised that Ali couldn't read.)

If you know a child with reading difficulties, find out about specialist tuition in your area. Don't ignore it and think that they will catch up. Remember that the earlier a child gets help, the more chance he or she will have of overcoming their reading problem. Also, don't confuse poor reading skills with a lack of comprehension. Many children who can't read out loud understand what they have read which is, after all, the main point of reading.

Colleges everywhere offer Adult Learning Classes so, if you know an adult who has difficulty with reading, encourage them to go. It's not as hard as they think. Just the other day, I came across an extremely interesting Blog by Jamie McCoy:-
Jamie's Big Voice
Jamie's story is really quite extraordinary because he was homeless after he ran away from home at the age of fifteen and he has had problems with drink and drugs most of his life. He is obviously intelligent but, at school, he was labelled disruptive and suffering from 'learning difficulties' with the result that he left school unable to read or write. At the age of 48 he did an an extremely brave thing... He threw the bag of heroin he had just bought into the River Thames and has been clean ever since. He has learnt to read and write and has even written his own poetry books and a book for children. His story is truly amazing and is proof of the odds that the human spirit can overcome.

Posted by Noviomagus at 14:29 BST Post Comment | View Comments (6) | Permalink

Friday, 9 September 2005 - 05:50 BST

Name: Joanna

I've heard and read about a few nonreaders who managed to make a good life for themselves, but it's hard to imagine.

Years ago my sister had to get a certain number of signatures on a petition. Hoping for a lot of signatures in a hurry, she stood outside the gate to one of the huge automobile factories in Detroit as the shift changed. Each person had to sign his name and then write the name of his employer. One older man eagerly agreed to sign. He made some kind of incomprehensible marks in the names column and then asked my sister, "How do you spell that Chrysler?" She asked how long he'd worked there and he told her, "Almost thirty years."

Friday, 9 September 2005 - 17:43 BST

Name: Tessa

True - in this day and age, it is virtually impossible to get by in Western society without basic reading skills. Sadly, a whole generation of children in the UK (mine included) were taught to 'read' by the new system of 'word recognition' instead of the tried and tested method of phonetics. As a result, most of these children never learnt to spell, some were labelled dyslexic, and some just never learnt anything at all. Of course, these drop-out 'disruptive' children eventually ended up in remedial classes where they were taught phonetics but their entire educational experience has been downgraded as a result. Now teachers are going back to the tried and tested phonetics system as our universities have been complaining about the standard of English and writing skills among under-graduates!

I suppose it would make a difference to adult literacy learning if a person had gone through the school system and retained some vestigal reading ability. Like riding a bicyle, the skill would be easier to re-learn.

Saturday, 10 September 2005 - 00:37 BST

Name: mr jamie mccoy
Home Page: http://jamiesbigvoice

The thing i found when learning to read and write was the embarressment and ridicule i faced from people that knew me. when i first started to learn to read and write i did it while sleeping in shop doorways. I used to say my words out loud and i'd spell them as they sounded. People that passed by thought i was mad.I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I made a desision and for the first time ever stuck to it. People say I am a remarkable guy but i am not i am just a man who took a chance and it worked. it's as simple as that. Now i find i love to write and have just finished the script for a pantomine which will be performed at christmas. It does take lots of determination to prove it to yourself that you can do anything you want it took me forty eight years to find that out.

Saturday, 10 September 2005 - 13:00 BST

Name: Tessa

It takes a lot of grit and strength of character to succeed at anything. What you have done is extraordinary because you had so many handicaps and prejudices to overcome.

Good luck with all your projects.

Tuesday, 13 September 2005 - 08:59 BST

Name: Stu Savory
Home Page:

The 3 Rs

Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic,
taught to the tune of a hickory stick...

seem to be missing these days. I never cease to be amazed at how little Maths people can do. We get school leavers (O-level equivalent) applying here for jobs who cannot even do simple (mental) arithmetic let alone algebra etc.

We are becoming innumerate :-(

Tuesday, 13 September 2005 - 14:14 BST

Name: Tessa

At school, I liked Algebra but I couldn't get to grips with geometry theorems! Consequently, I was removed from the maths class and sent with some other drop-outs to do 'proficiency in arithmetic'. Needless to say, I never achieved much. Much later in life, I did a 'TOPS' course to brush up on secretarial skills. One of the subjects was 'machine calculations'. The tutor started from scratch and went through the basics of maths. My God, if I had had him to teach me at school, I would have sailed through! He made it fun and had lots of little 'short cuts' up his sleeve.

I think the lowly abacus should be brought back to primary schools instead of calculators. At least that instils a visual grasp of what is happening. I remember going into Fortnum & Masons' store in London and buying a lb of sweets at 98 pence a quarter - the girl added it up on a calculator! My husband used to amuse himself adding up my shopping in his head as we trawled through the supermarket - he was usually right! Now, if I have to spend #50 to get some petrol voucher or whatever, I have to write it down as I go along - at least I can total it up!

View Latest Entries