2,360 comments posted · 10 followers · following 2

2 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Mohammed Amin: The Gov... · 1 reply · +1 points

I disagree. This organisation should not be given credence as the representative of Muslim opinion.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Misbehaviou... · 0 replies · +1 points

That is what I said. Practice stimulates myelin deposits, and so speeds things up. This faclitiates learning - it is part of it, but the process of learning is not simply one of myelinisation.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Misbehaviou... · 2 replies · +1 points

That's not quite what i said.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Misbehaviou... · 0 replies · +1 points

Sorry I misread stairs for stars. Letters are a convention, but it goes too far to say that they have no relevance to current spoken language. They behave as expected around 70% of the time. Once this is understood, spelling can be explained without misleading people. I dare say that different engineers think in different ways, just as people do in other walks of life. I happen to know an engineer who has a terrific grasp of detail and a superb memory for "what". I've studied China, and Chinese language, a little, and what you say is true. Fortunately, we have a system that works better, though it is not always fully understood.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Misbehaviou... · 2 replies · +1 points

Fuzzy logic is a reasonable description of the way in which the alphabet is used in English, and Shaywitz' identification of the "word form area" in the brain, that identifies how a pattern is used in a given word, is an important development. I agree on printing presses, but the Norman conquest is even more important, as it resulted in English being flooded with French - David Crystal's Spell It Out has the full story. I don't know what an "engineering mind" is, but rules that don't always work cause confusion to many people, and I don't use them.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Misbehaviou... · 4 replies · +1 points

I'm not setting out to describe the whole process of learning to read in a post, and myelinisation - depositing myelin on active neural connections, in effect speeding them up - is most important. Here is a link for those interested. Myelin is, however, deposited on active connections, by specialised brain cells. Make the connection, practice, and myelinisation takes place.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Misbehaviou... · 1 reply · +1 points

It might surprise you to see the mental gymnastics - and wasted time - that lie behind the drafting of academic papers to avoid the issue that Mr McDougall started with. I stand by my first response, but see no harm in airing the issue.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Misbehaviou... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thank you! I have trouble linking to that sometimes.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Misbehaviou... · 2 replies · +1 points

Descriptive rather than prescriptive is not quite the full picture either. The basic patterns of English sentences, and ways in which they may vary, have not changed much since Dickens. There are things that can and can't be done, and almost all sentences revolve round combinations of subject and verb. Fragments. There's a thought. These can be used, provided it is done deliberately, and in a context that makes sense to the reader. I've written a paper on this, which can be downloaded from Scottish CILT. Scottish Languages Review
Issue 20, Autumn 2009, 1-6

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Bald: Misbehaviou... · 11 replies · +1 points

This comment by LLifeless, above, reached me via email, but has not been posted. I've copied it here so that I can reply.

The terrible 2s is in Kandel's books. The mechanism is explained fully.

I will give an example. A man in his 40s wanted to learn to read. He could not even read a road sign. He had been protected by his family for years and they had covered it up. He now needed to pass an exam. An untrained volunteer was assigned to him. He passed his exam. All that was needed was some one that did not criticise but help. Learning needs no techniques other than what would be taught for say painting styles. This will go against your work but it is real.

Every skill I have learnt in my life, outside my taught career subject, I did on my own. I did it because I wanted that skill.

An example is a blind child would not be told to count the stars. They would get upset and being criticised for failing. They would be upset for the humiliation in front of the class. Therefore why is the same done to a child that is at that time blind to words because their brain has not developed yet. Teaching written language late is very important. It allows the person to learn the structure of speech first without being bogged down with the disaster of our written language. We need more people that can see concepts.

One that I can not cope with at present is the lack of understanding of a threat to a person as opposed to a criticism of a person. It is time to start teaching basic logic and concepts first.

My reply.

Criticising someone for not being able to do something, if they are co-operating and trying, is always wrong, and can do serious damage. Painting can be a discipline just as much as learning to read, particularly if children are taught to draw first, so I don't necessarily see this view as going against what I do. Have a look at my site for some examples. If your blind child won't count steps going upstairs, they will just meet a few more steps. If they don't count on the way down, they might break their neck.

Our written language is not a disaster. but it is based on a form of fuzzy logic, in which items may not have all of the characteristics of a the set they belong to - examples are manifold, but have and shave will do for the moment. This can be taught as long as it is understood, and people see phonics as the basis of language rather than the whole story.

Please let me have a reference for Kandel on the terrible twos.