Why Today's Kids Won't Sit and Listen; SPECIAL REPORT: ON HOW PUPILS GOING 'FROM LITERACY LEARNING TO VISUAL LEARNING'

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), September 3, 2003 | Go to article overview

Why Today's Kids Won't Sit and Listen; SPECIAL REPORT: ON HOW PUPILS GOING 'FROM LITERACY LEARNING TO VISUAL LEARNING'


Byline: BARBARA GOULDEN

MANY children starting school for the first time find it hard to even sit still and listen to a story, according to the head of a primary school in Coventry.

It is one of the symptoms of what the government's chief inspector of schools, David Bell, has termed poor speech and behavioural skills among new pupils.

And with 9,000 five-year-olds making up the new intake throughout Coventry and Warwickshire, Ralph Bonnell, head of Stoke Primary School, in Briton Road, Coventry, is one who agrees with his views.

Mr Bonnell said he had noticed a marked deterioration in the readiness of some children to start school over the past five years.

More have speech and language problems and many find it hard to sit still and listen in the classroom, even if they are being read a story.

Mr Bonnell thinks there are many complex reasons for the situation but does urge new parents to make a conscious effort to talk more to their toddlers.

He said: "These days, the demands on parents are greater with regard to going out to work and I am sure that has an impact on the amount of time they can spend with children.

"Others have other domestic problems and there is an inability by some young people to be able to manage at home.

"But our latest Ofsted report does highlight the fact that many children are coming into our school well below the national average of ability.

Mr Bonnell, who believes nursery classes and the special Stay and Play parent and pre-school children sessions, have gone some way to help, will be welcoming 60 youngsters into his reception classes over the next two weeks.

They will stay for just half a day, beginning their formal education in small groups to help them acclimatise.

Stoke Primary is a 400-strong multi-racial school but youngsters from Asian backgrounds, who often speak English as a second language at home, do not tend to be the ones with the biggest communication problems.

Mr Bonnell said: "It is European children that have more major difficulties in being able to access the curriculum."

Sue Roberts, acting head of 380-strong Earlsdon Primary School, agrees that language skills among five-year-olds have deteriorated over the past five years.

After consulting special needs advisers at the school, Mrs Roberts said: "We have noticed that language skills are significantly worse and think one reason is that children spend a bit too much time in front of the television.

"Certainly, when asked the word for the colour purple, some new pupils only know it as "Tinky Winky" from the Teletubbies!"

Mrs Roberts believes speech is crucial to developing "thinking skills" and suggests parents need to make extra efforts to hold conversations with their children if both work and need to rely on extended childcare which can leave toddlers mainly talking to other toddlers.

But Tony Flynn, head of 200-strong Spon Gate Primary School in the city centre said he preferred to focus on the excellent media skills lots of his five-year-olds bring into school, which may well be equipping them for life in the 21st century.

Mr Flynn said: "I suppose I'm looking at the glass half full rather than half empty, but I can't help thinking there is an interesting debate to be had about speech and low literacy skills.

"Yes, we probably did read more in the old days but I teach some kids who can use the computer better than I can - that's the nature of the society they are growing up in.

"These days, they are using ICT to e-mail and text their friends. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Why Today's Kids Won't Sit and Listen; SPECIAL REPORT: ON HOW PUPILS GOING 'FROM LITERACY LEARNING TO VISUAL LEARNING'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.