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Literacy challenges for non-alphabetic learners of English

 
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2438
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:01 pm    Post subject: Literacy challenges for non-alphabetic learners of English Reply with quote

This is a very interesting website raising very important issues for non-alphabetic learners:


http://www.alphabetheadaches.com



Quote:
Welcome!

This website has been designed by Dr Pauline Bunce to highlight the huge challenges faced by English learners who come from different-scripted language backgrounds. In the 21st century, such a background characterises the overwhelming majority of today's English learners.

Unfortunately, English-language teaching materials and methodologies have yet to reflect this geographical and linguistic reality. These pages are designed to go some way towards countering these short-comings.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2438
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pauline introduced herself in response to receiving our eNewsletters:

Pauline wrote:

Quote:
My own interest in Phonics is in terms of the needs of older, biscriptal learners of English, who come to the language as expert users of very different writing systems e.g. Chinese, Indian scripts, Thai etc. To these learners, the whole notion of an alphabet is new. Without explicit instruction in working with an alphabet, they will apply the principles of their first scripts. This leads, in the case of Chinese-background learners, to the visual memorisation of words.

This was the subject of my doctorate research, set in the Hong Kong secondary schools where I used to teach. My frequent articles in the local HK press led to some new interest in phonics, but (typical HK) commercial interests have since 'flooded' the scene and there are any number of 'quick fix' phonics programmes in operation/competition. At least the idea of SOUND has taken root. (Prior to this, it had hardly been considered at all!)

The bulk of today's new learners of English are coming from regions that do NOT use an alphabetic script, yet current ESL/EAL practice just assumes an alphabetic competence. ESL practice is one of the main 'bastions' of the multi-cueing approaches, as you describe them. Its resource materials come from UK and US situations, in which most learners have come from alphabetic, European-language backgrounds (Spanish, in the case of the USA).

Please have a look at my little website: www.alphabetheadaches.com when you find the time.

Keep up the great work!

Pauline Bunce
Perth, Australia

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Susan



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 25
Location: Exeter

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pauline, I think you'd find Peter Warner's website interesting and useful. He's an English teacher in Japan.

http://www.english-in-japan.com/English-in-Japan/Home.html
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