--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, "i18n@..." <i18n@...> wrote:
> Suzanne -

> > Some dyslexics read long and complicated, even irregular words
> > faster than they read small words with regular spelling. They
> > on the visual difference in the shape of the word. I remember one
> > little kid reading 'civilization' but stumbling over 'clap'.
> >
> > Kids can read "draw a picture" and 'write a story' fairly
> > long before they can recognize the diference
> > between 'spice','splice' and 'slice.'

> Interesting. Is this related to my ability to "read" more then a
bit of
> the local Chinese restaurant menus despite having only studied
> not Chinese? I recognize the meaning of characters by sight, even
> they are not the same as corresponding J characters. I wouldn't
have a
> clue how to pronounce them. On some unfamiliar characters I can
> meaning elements from the radicals, although this is sometimes
> by matching up the English with the Chinese.
> It seems to me that I have a certain amount of literacy, enabling
me to
> accomplish some tasks satisfactorily) based solely on reading
> related to prior knowledge of the shapes of words and the ability
> predict their meaning.. Is that what you mean?

Not quite, that might be symbol literacy or some such term that
indicates you really can't pronounce the term but you know what it
means. Useful, but a subset of literacy.

The kid I was referring to knew 1. how to pronounce the word
civilization correctly and 2. what it meant, but she could not read
a comparable 5 syllable word that she had not seen before.

What I really meant was that I have more respect for the need to
define terms than I used to.

To be honest, when I read a statement like this,

"Among Canadian participants there was a large range between very
high and very low scores on the prose literacy scale. IALS showed
that the discrepancy between people with low and high literacy
skills was far larger in Canada than in European countries such as
Denmark, Norway, Germany, Finland and Sweden."

"On the prose literacy scale, Canada ranked 5th among the 20
countries surveyed, behind Sweden, Finland, Norway and the
Netherlands ..."


"So Our composite scale was relatively high but the gap between high
and low was wide."

I have to ask if our English orthography is not part of the problem.
On average we are not so bad, but if the gap is wide that is a bad

But then one also has to ask how many people in any country speak
the national lg as their first lg, what is the socioeconomic
distribution, what other social problems do we have by virtue of a
very heterogenous population, etc. To be honest, I really don't

Approx.(depending on definitions) 5 - 10 % of our population is
First Nations and 25% is French, ?% ESL then you have to talk about
those variations first before you talk about English orthography

First Nations students don't do well in Vancouver schools, but that
may be because their parents have a hard time finding employment,
and other social inequities, not because our orthography is not
phonemic. Once again, I really don't know.

If these studies proved that our orthography was a causal factor in
social inequity would that be a case for spelling reform? Personally
I think it would be very hard to prove. However, I suppose one
shouldn't dismiss it.

> Best,
> Barry