The English Language is a complex beast. There are so many rules, conventions and expectations that it is easy for the best of us to unwittingly make an error with grammar, spellings or punctuation! Although many teachers specialise in a particular curriculum area, modelling literacy behaviours to students remains an essential element of the role – so ensuring a sound knowledge in some of the basic language rules is critical for all teachers, “Literacy is a platform for democratisation”.
There are many barriers for teachers to overcome, but some of these obstacles need to be overcome by the individual. There are other barriers, and these are noted by Phil Beadle in his ‘How to Teach Literacy’ book, which attempts an examination of such barriers whilst offering solutions to help overcome. For example, Beadle explores: Issues around how oracy is not taken seriously; a lack of extended writing opportunities; marking and feedback; not enough poetry, or; a lack of understanding of why students can be reluctant writers, “with literacy you can articulate your anger”.
Let’s be clear here. This is not a self-help grammar aide to help teachers. Neither is it a punctuation revision guide which teachers should dip into during each lesson to ensure they have got the possessive apostrophe in the correct place. This book is about pedagogy. This book is about using practical ideas for helping students to improve their writing and oral skills in every lesson they attend, written in a readable and amusing style that will inspire confidence. At the end of the day, there is no logic in English spellings – there is little logic in many things in life – but it is logical that teachers scaffold correct language conventions with pupils. As Phil reminds in the introduction, “It’s your job”.
Published by Independent Thinking Press, How to Teach Literacy by Phil Beadle is priced at £12.99* and available from the Amazon Link.