Word on the street

27th June 2008 at 01:00
Pupils say the funniest things, especially in English lessons, as Gail Robinson finds out on The TES website
Pupils say the funniest things, especially in English lessons, as Gail Robinson finds out on The TES website

Is English spelling too hard for children to learn? Not according to the English teachers posting on our forums who were sceptical of a recent study by Masha Bell, a literacy researcher, claiming that there are 800 words whose spelling hinders the reading of children up to age 11 (www.tes.co.ukenglish1).

Malu says: "English is so difficult that it can be spoken, read, written and spelt (correctly) by many who speak it as a second language." Carnhot agrees: "So we are saying, sacrifice the historic element of the way our language has evolved because some spellings are a bit hard? What nonsense."

The Sats markers thread is buzzing as users post the funniest things they've read in this year's exam papers (www.tes.co.ukenglish2).

Richard III is definitely getting a bad rap from pupils. Clairearnold_99 cites this response to the character from one of her papers: "From looking at all of the evidence I would say Richard III is a twat."

Shelleye, meanwhile, had to contend with the following: "Richard was a weirdy pervert because he wanted to marry his niece, that's dirty and not right."

Gembob marked an essay where Richard was described as "the type of guy who has cruise control on his car, an 80-inch plasma screen TV and a pumping surround sound system".

Getting boys to read is a perennial problem for English teachers and mrsfabmoretti posted a message asking for advice from other teachers and got ideas aplenty in return (www.tes.co.ukenglish3).

falkirklit thinks that class blogs are a good way to improve writing and advises using "anything where boys can clearly see the purpose and be given identified roles".

Swallowtail offers a list of books that work well in his boys' school. He says: "I found they loved the Roald Dahl short stories, Macbeth, Holes, The Curious Incident and the Sherlock Holmes stories. However, they also loved more "girly" stuff too, such as Goodnight, Mr Tom and a lot of poetry. Don't be too blinkered and think that boys automatically don't like reading."

Gail Robinson is The TES website community producer. See www.tes.co.ukmag

Top English resources

This superheroes display helps teach key stage 2 children vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation


- Get your class to understand the use of apostrophes with this interactive whiteboard resource


- Beat the Bard - a PowerPoint quiz to use as a visual aid when working on a Shakespeare text


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