There has been a tendency in recent years to avoid the issue of spelling. The dominance of whole-word recognition has meant that students have lost ground in word attack.
Many students lack a logical approach to the reading and writing of words they have not been personally introduced to.
THERE is a marvellous moment in the movie Greystoke, a grown-up version of the Tarzan story. Visualise an aristocratic dinner party in Victorian England. Tarzan has been brought out of the jungle, is dressed in fine clothes and is being shown off to the guests.
Inevitably, one arrogant blue-blood passes a very denigrating remark, in exquisite English, about the "savage" at the table.
In the early seventies, Faye Berryman and I met and started up the Fitzroy Community School in North Fitzroy, an inner suburb of Melbourne.
Faye had been a secondary teacher who had witnessed first-hand the sad results of children emerging from primary schooling with poor literacy skills. I had been a philosophy lecturer, specialising in logic and linguistics. We had not been trained in primary schooling, but were confronted with the problem of teaching young children to read.