Yeah, but, no, but…
I don’t know if you’ve seen this report from the BBC. It makes for grim reading if you’re a teacher, not least because it is going to strike a chord of recognition in us all.
The study was carried out by Prof Tony McEnery of Lancaster University. One of his findings was that when ‘kids’ talk, you often find the words ‘no’ and ‘but’ beside each other. (It was called collocation when I were at uni!).
More frighteningly, he has come up with reasons for ‘kids’ lack of communication skills:
He put this down to a lack of training and the overuse of technologies such as computer games and MP3 players.
“This trend, known as technology isolation syndrome, could lead to problems in the classroom and then later in life.
I can hear the hacks at the Daily Mail firing up their computers already…
However, I love the irony in Prof McEnery’s solution: use a mobile phone! (Obviously no-one has pointed out to him that the average phone nowadays has computer games and MP3 players built in… not to mention browsers and diaries and…)
One can’t help but wonder if the good Prof would have come to a different conclusion if the report hadn’t been funded by Tesco… who just happen to be launching an internet phone tie-in with schools in England?
Sounds a bit like GLOW, but maybe with more carrier bags?