Sunday, 30 September 2012

A strange post . . .


I have just found a copy of a school book that I had when I was 6 or 7 years old. I was brought up in the Midlands of England in a place called Brereton and the school I went to taught International Teaching Alphabet ITA, a phonic system.
I now shudder when ever anyone mentions phonics, for having gone to school aged 5 able to read and write I left that school at 8 unable to read anything but ITA. The books were very limited and only available at 'Boots the Chemist' and my parents couldn't read them. 
I have many students with very poor literacy skills, I worry for them and try everything to make them step out of their comfort zone and address this problem, but it is so hard for people after a certain age to have the resilience to try and increase literacy skills. 
I follow Michael Rosen's blog as I find his eloquence and passion regarding this aspect of our education system interesting. 
This is a problem that haunts me, as so many students are coming out of school without basic literacy skills and I still struggle with my own grammar and spelling demon's.


  1. Hazel, I can read these and I think it's because that's exactly how our students write. Really interesting post though, never heard of this before . A.

  2. Struggled to read these.. thought it was olde worlde English although it didn't make sense!

  3. Have just spent a very interesting 15 mins perusing Michael's blog- thanks for pointing me towards it. Incidentally,is it just me or does ITA look very much like todays text speak?

    1. Yes it does. I am glad you enjoyed Michael's blog he is a great man.

  4. Fascinating! I wonder if today's phonetic literacy teaching is a legacy of 'ITA'. Jolly Phonics as taught today is very effective, and typical reading / writing follows on very well, in my experience as a parent and long-time literacy volunteer.

  5. How interesting and awful at the same time. It must have been quite difficult to 'unlearn'. My home town is in the Midlands, Leicestershire - I was at school in the late 60's/early 70's and I do recall phonics being around at that time - luckily not in the schools I went to though!