[Spelling Progress Bulletin, Spring 1982 pp4-5]
Also on this page: Conference aim and exhibition.

Third International Conference.

Index of papers.

Message from H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, Patron of the Simplified Spelling Society.

Cognitive processes in spelling.

"Cognitive Processes in Spelling and their Relevance to Spelling Reform." Dr. Uta Frith, Developmental Psychology Unit, Medical Research Council.

"Psychological Processes in Spelling Recognition and Production." Dr. P. H. K. Seymour, Dept. of Psychology, Univ. of Dundee, Scotland.

Teaching and Learning Spelling.

"Spelling errors made by 8-11 year old pupils." Miss Barbara Smith, formerly Dundee College of Education, Scotland.

"Spelling of consonant clusters: a developmental study." Dr. Maggie Snowling, National Hospital's College of Speech Sciences and University College, London.

"Spelling difficulties in school-leavers and adults." Dr. Dolores Perin, Developmental Psychology Unit, Medical Research Council, London.

"Spelling errors of 11 phonologically disordered children compared with 11 normal children." P. Robinson, Beresford, Barbara Dodd. (in abs.) U. of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Spelling in other languages and international aspects of English spelling.

"Principles of Esperanto spelling." Mr. Smart Campbell, Edinburgh, Scotland.

"Experiments in teaching English in Francofone Africa." Dr. Henry Niedzielski, Univ. of Hawaii/Univ. of Burundi.

"The history of Spanish orthografy, Andres Bello's proposal and the Chilean attempt: Implications for a theory of spelling reforms:" Dr. Iraset Paez Urdaneta, Instituto Autonomo Biblioteca National, Caracas, Venezuela.

"Spelling reform in international perspective." Prof. Dr. Jesús Mosterín, Dept. de Logica, Facultad de Filosofia de Education, Univ. of Barcelona, Spain.

Spelling for Electronic Communication.

"Computer transliteration of shorthand for the post-lingually def." Mr. Colin Brooks, Dept. of Electronics, Univ. of Southampton.

Development of Improvement in English Orthografy.

"Semantic aspects of spelling reform." Dr. Neville Brown, Foundation for the Education of the Under-achieving and Dyslexic.

"How to reconcile conflicting principles for reformed English spelling." Dr. Walter Gassner, Australia.

"A Chomsky-style spelling reform for English? Directions for research:" Valerie Yule, Univ. of Aberdeen, Scotland.

"Commercial and marketing perspectives in orthografic reform:" Mr. C. H. J. Jolly, Marketing Manager, London.

"Spelling: roads to reform." Mr. George O'Halloran, formerly of the Gambian Civil Service, now teaching in London, (in absentia).

Experiment and Research in Spelling Reform

"An experimental investigation of attitudes to English spelling reform:' Dr. Robert Baker, Dept. of Electronics, Univ. of Southampton.

"An experimental comparison between adults learning to read text in two proposed spelling systems." Dr. John Beech, Dept. of Psychology, New Univ. of Ulster, No. Ireland.

Implementing English Spelling Reform.

"Spelling reform - be practical." Dr. John Downing, Univ. of Victoria, Canada, Pres. Simplified Spelling Society, (in absentia).

"Simplified spelling: the real battle and the real battle-ground." Dr. Ayb Citron, formerly of Wayne St. Univ., Mich, Director, "Better Education thru Simplified Spelling."

"The inevitability of change, the happy alternative," Mr. Harvie Barnard, member of Editorial Board, Spelling Progress Bulletin.(in absentia).

What the 3rd International Conference on Spelling, Research & Reform hoped to Achieve.

Short term and now.

1. Changing the public image of spelling reform to the modernization of another obsolescent piece of British technology that handicaps the country economically, politically and socially and away from the picture, until the last few years not unjustified, of engaging eccentrics squabbling in armchairs about pet untested schemes.

2. A public platform for work that deserves publicity and discussion, e.g. John Beech's experiments are pioneering on the crucial question of how literate adults can adapt to changes in English spelling.

Experimental work, e.g. on how the human brain processes spelling, gives the bases for design of an optimum spelling that can be used by the whole population, not just limited to the clever half.

The combined impact of the work on the spelling difficulties of children, the perceptually-handicapped, foreigners, African schools using English as the media of education, and computers, can explain the question, "We did it, why can't everybody else?"

Few people in Britain know about the successful spelling reforms in other modern countries, nor the history of English spelling. (Since its present form is only 200 years old, why should another 100 be needed to change it?)

3. A meeting-place for cross-fertilising interdisciplinary research, to break down 'tunnel vision' on spelling, and use the combined perspectives and knowledge of cognitive psychology, linguistics, electronics, and communications technology, sociology, history of language, marketing, education and infant-schooling.

4. Set off the first simple steps in spelling reform that can get going in the same way as changes in the living languages and fashions, through adoption by trend-setters and spreding into public acceptance because they are in line with existing trends towards efficiency and economy. i.e. Spelling Reform 1 (SR-1) "Use e for the short e in bet." This step includes publicising ways in which individuals, teachers, publishing, marketing, etc. can support trends, and arousing public interest and consciousness about spelling, i.e. with Spelling Day, Spelling Games, etc. Ordinary people must become aware that they are capable of questioning obscurantism.

5. Stimulating better teaching of spelling in schools, with methods that help students and teachers to discriminate between the basic underlying system and the extraneous and dysfunctional - so that they can realise how easy and necessary it is to clean most of it up.

6. Stimulating effective research on practical and constructive issues in spelling.

7. Recruiting active support and financing for spelling reform, particularly in the key situations of influence in commerce, politics, publishing, journalism and letters, computer technology, information agencies, and overseas affairs, including EEC, UN, UNESCO, and British Council.

Long range aims of the Spelling Conference.

1. Working to get a public commission, such as that in the Netherlands, to make official decisions about research and implementation of further reforms.

2. Ensuring that the research and experimental spadework is done so that when politically and socially the more far reaching decisions on English spelling can be made, the necessary research foundation will be there - and prevent the sort of defects in practice that are now apparent in a theoretically ideal metricisation. (e.g. decisions about grammatical and linguistic markers and consistent modifying rules, a consistent rule about questions such as how to represent the long vowels, and later still, eny changes or additions to the 26 letters themselves.)

3. Encouraging educational, social and political groups to take official stands in favour of spelling reforms and to work and lobby for them, (e.g. teachers' unions, government officials, legislators, the UN, UNESCO, etc.)

The Spelling Exhibition at the Third International Conference on Reading, Spelling.

A dramatic feature of the conference was the comprehensive display of every aspect of spelling reform.

Miss Mona Cross organized a display of publicity and correspondence from the Simplified Spelling Society, including reports about well known reformers such as Reg. Deans, and letters from all over the world.

Mrs. Kate Chapman of the Scottish Curriculum Development Service provided a display of spelling teaching materials and books in current use for the edification of all of us who had forgotten what a business it all is. Holmes McDougal Ltd. provided a publisher's display.

Spelling reformers who supplied material, monografs, and books for display included Prof. Vassilyevof Moscow, with the monograf on Maximally Simplified Spelling written in collaboration with Prof. A. C. Gimson of London; Edward Rondthaler's Soundspel computer dictionary and explanatory brochures from New York; Harry Lindgren of Australia sent copies of teachers, students and computing magazines, and books by well known Australian authors published by six different Australian publishers, all using SR-1, Spelling Reform One, e for the short e sound (demonstrating it is practical for printers) as well as copies of his book explaining his approach, Spelling Reform, a New Approach; there was Prank du Pea's Eurospelling, Reg. Dean's Britic, Dr. Walter Gassner's Consistent Evolutional Spelling; the House of Lords Debate on Language Reform initiated by Lord Simon, reported in Hansard in January, 1981, copies of Spelling Progress Bulletin, some S.S.S. literature, and recent as well as standard books on the subjects of spelling and spelling reform.

There were poster displays of spelling cartoons, on various aspects of spelling, amplified in seventeen topic brochures - Spelling Facts, Computers and Spelling, Teaching Spelling, Spelling Research, Popular Spelling, Spelling can be Fun, Society and Spelling, Ideas about Spelling, A Handbook of Spelling Reform Proposals, and so on. Available for sale (and still available) were booklets of Spelling Games, Spelling Action Calendar for 1982, Car Stickers for Spelling Reform 1, and a booklet of a 6000 word school spelling list set out in a fonic analysis to make it easier to learn now, and easier to understand how easily the chaos could be reduced or avoided.

We want to thank everyone who contributed to this rather impressive sight, and also thank Fergus McBride, the man on the spot, who was responsible for selecting the excellent conference venue with its magnificent views of history and scenery (when we had time to look) and who provided invaluable assistance in organization of venue arrangements and transportation of materials. We also want to thank the University of Edinburgh for their cooperation and help with this project.

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