Functional Illiteracy

Subject: Functional Illiteracy
From: "Julie F. Sullivan" <jhesselgesser -at- OXMOL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 10:47:14 -0500

I hope I'm not getting too far off topic here. I have become VERY interested
in this subject recently because I put my 6 six old in a private school that
uses phonics instruction instead of whole language to teach reading,
writing, and spelling. I am shocked at the difference between his education
and my two older children who are in the public schools. It's criminal but
true that our nation's public schools have opted for minimal literacy. My
two older children cannot spell. I was recently told by three teachers at my
sixth grader's school that they have decided that spelling is no longer
important since computers have spell check programs(!!!). My son's language
arts teacher offered that most of the sixth graders in his class spell the
word "does" like this "dose." What impact will this have on our profession?
Well, I believe as these whole language educated children move into the work
force we will be writing less and less and using pictures and graphics more
and more. It will also be more difficult to find and train technical
writers. And I don't even want to think about the interfaces these future
software designers are going to create! If you are interested in this
subject, please visit the following web sites for more information:

Or read these books:

"The Dumbing Down of America" by Eric Sykes
"Why Our Children Can't Read" by Diane McGuiness

I think this is a political issue worthy of our attention. Please contact me
offline if you want to learn more.

Julie Sullivan
jsullivan -at- oxmol -dot- com, or

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