Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Language Is POWER

Language is power. 

A lecturer said that to me many years ago when I was training to be a teacher.

How right he was.

I'm a Support For Learning teacher in a school with an interesting catchment.  I spend my time trying to help the children I work with take small steps in which ever direction they need to go.  My time is spent in a great variety of ways, but the most common theme is literacy. 

For those who struggle, the impact can by huge.  Just look at the statistics from prisons relating to dyslexia and literacy difficulties to see just how tremendously negative the impact can be upon an individual.  Low self-esteem can lead to poor behaviour and, if you're unlucky, to a spiral of decline.

I'm jaded now.  Almost twenty-five years in the job and I'm feeling every one of them.

Even so, I still believe in the need for people like me to help out the strugglers of this world.

To my mind, consistency of approach from adults and a range of experieces with reading and writing are the key.  This often implies that one-to-one teaching and learning is best, followed closely behind by small group learning.  Problem is, these things cost money.

I can't say I know the details of the charities to which the money from 'Off The Record' will be going to, but I applaud their efforts and their attitude.

Which is enough reason to shell out a few quid in itself.

Another reason is the list of contributors.  It's top class, so go see.

You're lucky that you can read this.  That you can read the anthology without too much difficulty.  Which is why that opening statement rings true.  Literacy enables access to jobs, information, communication, imagination, opinion, movement from one place to another, instructions, financial arrangements, personal arrangements and the like.  Imagine not being able to negotiate these things with ease.  It must be like being in a country where you can't speak or read the language.  Very tough indeed.

You're also lucky that I'm not extending this piece to further ranting.  It would seem better to let the book talk for itself.  

Thanks for the support.