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THE PYONEER OV SIMPLIFYD SPELING.
March 1917/1 part 2.

EKSPERIMENTS WITH SIMPLIFYD SPELING.

We mai regard az a dyrekt rezult ov our leter tu the Rekonstrukshon Komiti the sankshon given by the Bord ov Edeukaishou tu kondukt eksperiments with Simplifyd Speling in elementari skoolz.

At the tym ov going tu pres the folœing skoolz had eksprest thair wilingnes tu undertaik eksperiments:-
King's Somborne Skool, Hants. Hed Maaster, Mr. H. C. J. Cooper.
St. Anne's Skool, Wandsworth. Hed Maaster, Mr. E. A. Bagnall.
York Road Kounsil Skool, Leeds. Hed Maaster, Mr. Ezra Sykes.
Kounsil Skool, Bramley, Leeds. Hed Maaster, Mr. Allen Chalmers.
Several Skoolz at Hetton-le-Hole, Durham.
In sum kaisez sertin formalitiz hav yet tu be seteld, but thair iz litel dout that eksperiments wil soon be aktivli karid on in diferent kyndz ov skoolz.

"What advaantij iz tu be deryvd from the eus ov Simplifyd Speling in teeching yung children?" mai be aaskt by sum hoo hav not had okaizhon tu konsider the mater. Our aanser iz this:

Thair ar two sets ov difikultiz konfronting the chyld when it enterz skool. It haz tu lern neu soundz and the wai in which the soundz ar reprezented. If our langwij had a good (that iz a reezonabli konsistent) speling, we kood sai tu the chyld: "Heer iz the syn for this sound and heer iz the syn for that," and so on for eech ov the forti soundz, and tu pronouns korektli wood be the cheef rekwizit for speling korektli. But our speling iz bad and kontainz meni feeteurz that ar not rashonal at aul - it presents difikultiz that hav nuthing tu doo with the pronunsiaishon.

The saim iz troo ov French, and for some tym paast, in aul progresiv skoolz, the children hav been taut French at the outset by meenz ov fonetik transkripshon, folœd by a sistematik transizhon tu the convenshonal speling. Ekspeeriens shœz that children taut in this wai spel beter than thœz hoo hav been taut the konvenshonal speling from the begining.

The ferst thing tu doo iz tu teech good speech. It iz not tu be gatherd from the eus ov "good" heer that eni stigma atachez tu dyalekt; on the kontrari, we ar ankshus tu restor dyalekt tu its rytfool plais. But it wood be abserd tu maintain that wun hoo kan speek hiz dyalekt œnli iz not at a seerius disadvaantij in lyf or that for perposez ov jeneral sœshal interkors eni form ov English speech iz az good az eni uther. In praktis we fynd that some formz ov speech ar mor jenerali pleezing than utherz, and when we "korekt" the speech ov children it iz with the ydea ov maiking it mor wydli akseptabel. Thair mai be no intrinsik beuti in the three soundz that ar groopt tugether in the werd "hat"; yet we think it ryt tu aask a peupil tu substiteut them for "at," the dyalekt form ov the saim werd. Why? Bekauz it wood ofend the eer ov the majoriti ov English speekerz if this werd wer uterd without the inishal h. Apart from this we rekognyz that sum speekerz artikeulait kleerli, and we ar aibel ta folœ thair werdz with eez and plezher. It must be our aim tu giv our peupilz a form ov speech that iz not œnli intelijibel without efort, but aulso plezant.

Let us remember, too, that vois training and eer training ar klœsli konekted. Unles eu kan speek wel eu kan not fooli apreeshiait the beuti ov speech.

When the chyld haz lernt tu speek kleerli we mai proseed tu let it ekspres itself in ryting. If the speling iz konsistent the prœses iz simpel enuf. Mme Montessori telz ov her litel peupilz in Rome, kuming from kwyt humbel hœmz, hoo "eksplœd intu reeding and ryting." Whotever thai wish tu sai, thai kan ryt eezili, bekauz the Italian langwij haz a good speling.

It iz just the saim in English if we euz a konsistent speling; but if we euz the konvenshonal speling it iz aultugether diferent. Tu be shoor, we kan teech on "phonic" lynz, and that meenz paiing deu atenshon tu the children'z speech; but we hav tu chooz our werdz veri kairfooli, selekting them not in the rashonal wai, akording az thai ar within the chyld'z sfeer ov interest, but in a hœlli artifishal wai, akording az thai ar spelt. We kan not euz "child," bekauz the i iz not pronounst az in "it"; we kan not euz "mother," bekauz the o iz not pronounst az in "not."

Erlier eksperiments hav shœn that the children reed our Ferst Reeder veri eezili; and the saim wil be troo ov the Sekond Reeder, which wil be iseud shortli. No neu werd frytenz them; thai can pronouns it at ferst syt.

But wil thai not hav difikulti in akwyring the ordinari speling? Heer again, ekspeeriens shœz that thair iz no dainjer. In the Scottish eksperiment, tu which referens haz been maid in preevius numberz ov THF PYONEER, it woz shœn that aafter werking with simplifyd speling œnli for 10 munths, 4 munths' studi ov the konvenshonal speling woz enuf tu giv children az good a komaand ov the later az 19 munths' work had given thœz hoo okeupyd themselvz with it ekskloosivli.

Aul hoo hav taut on "phonic" lynz shood welkum simplifyd speling, which enaibelz them tu sekeur good speech without the disterbing inflooens ov an irashonal speling; which nœz no uther than nateural limitaishonz tu the vokabeulari that kan be euzd from the veri begining; which renderz it posibel tu redeus the tym rekwyrd for lerning the konvenshonal speling. Aul this we konfidentli klaim for simplifyd speling; and we thairfor invyt teecherz, in aul typs ov skoolz for yung children, tu giv it a seerius tryal.


THE LYN OV LEEST REZISTANS.

By JOSEPH HOGARTH (Johannesburg).

Wun or too points seem tu indikait that the whyt peepel ov South W Africa regard the reform ov Enlish speling with raather mor toleraishon than eni uther part ov the world.

The ferst step woz taiken several yeerz agœ when the Transvaal Edeukaishon Department dekreed that the kombinaishon -ise shood be diskarded and be replaist by -ize, thus substiteuting wun form in plais ov the too formz that stil flurish in the rest ov English-speekingdom. The sekond step woz taiken laast August, when the Transvaal Teeching Asœsiaishon, throo the mouth ov their egzekeutiv, eunanimusli rezolvd that the graitest edeukaishonal reform ov the prezent dai woz that ov English speling, and advokaited a modfikaishon ov the werst kaisez for a begining.

Fynali, thair ar meni hoo, remembering the reesent simplifikaishon ov Dutch speling, kan not rezist the lojik that whot iz good for Dutch shood not be bad for English.

So far the publik, heer az elswhair, haz shœn no jeneral dezyr for eni chainj; but this, aafter aul, mai not be deu aultugether tu prejoodis or hostiliti. Probabli the neu speling skeemz hithertu propœzd hav been too difikult, too drastik, and too unfamiliar. Haz not the popeular element been unkonshusli œverlookt and omited in thair konstrukshon? If so, then this œversyt haz at laast been maid good by the advent ov Simplifyd Speling. It nou œnli remainz tu iseu seutabel reeding books for the perpos ov giving it a thurœ tryal and ov probabli ading a finishing tuch.

The prezent tym, houever, iz veri unfaivorabel for presing its klaimz on the publik atenshon, sins the Empyr haz need tu konsentrait aul its enerjiz upon the Wor. In thautfool konsideraishon ov this it iz beter, then, tu refrain from aktiv propaganda til a hapier dai. In the meentym, houever, thair ar wun or too bywaiz lying wel outsyd the zœn ov wor'z aktiviti, and in the obskeuriti ov which sum humbel pyoneering werk myt be atemted, and in which the lyn ov leest rezistans wood be found. Wun ov theez bywaiz leedz throo the werld ov joovenyl literateur.

In everi wel apointed bookseler'z shop in South Africa - az in aul sivilyzd kuntriz - the children'z toi-book kounter plaiz a konsiderabel part in the lyvz ov yung children and thair gardianz. Ilustraited books in larj typ and beutifooli printed apeer in grait varyeti, and the reeding mater iz dezynd tu seut everi graid from the simplest tu the mor advaanst.

The Simplifyd Speling Sosyeti (fundz permiting) myt maik an eksperiment in publishing wun or mor similar books in Simplifyd Speling, and hav them ekspœzd for sail. Thœz children hoo hapen tu bekum the pozesorz ov such books wil soon diskuver that thai ar kwyt az eezi tu reed az thair skool reeding ov the koresponding graid. Az thai advaans thai wil maik the ferther diskuveri that thai never enkounter eni iregeular, aukwerd, or eksepshonal speling, which kontineuusli hamperz them in the œlder method. Thai proseed smoothli, having no barierz tu sermount, until a mœment fynali aryvz when the hœl nolej ov the skeem ov Simplifyd Speling daunz and ileuminaits their myndz with a kompleet understanding ov the sistem.

This enlytenment mai oker at eni tym tuwordz the end ov the ferst yeer, or soon aafter. No ferther difikulti wood remain in yther reeding or speling. The hœl werld ov joovenyl literateur - provyding books in the Simplifyd speling wer availabel - wood nou be œpend, and thair eksploraishonz thairin wood œnli be limited by thair intelijens.

And this iz by no meenz aul. The chyld with hiz Simplifyd Speling book bekumz a mishonari tu aul hiz relativz, gardianz, and frendz, and the ferther the nolej spredz, the mor wit neu rekroots be gatherd in. Tho everi uther rœd be bard against speling reform, this bywai throo the feeld ov joovenyl literateur iz aulwaiz free and œpen.

Yung whyt peepel ar not the œnli peepel, houever, tu hoom the advaantijez ov a simplifyd orthografi wood apeel. Thair iz a larj blak and kulord popeulaishon in South Africa klœsli konsernd with it. Thai number about 5,000,000. Thair grait ambishon iz tu akwyr sum nolej ov English. About haaf ov them speek this langwij mor or les brœkenli, and about a kworter ov a milion ov thair children atend skool. The rezults ar, houever, veri poor, az the pairents withdrau thair children at the erliest mœment thai bekum eusfool for werk, and konsekwentli the averij atendans amounts tu œnli too yeerz.

Naitiv skoolz ar kondukted and taut in the naitiv langwijez. The men hoo dezynd the speling for theez naitiv langwijez kopid the best elements ov English speling, but kairfooli avoided its iregeularitiz and inkontistensiz. Naitiv speling iz thairfor simpel, and iz fraimd so that eech sound iz aulwaiz represented by the saim leter or leterz. Thus, the chyld, notwithstanding hiz short skool lyf, iz aibel tu akwyr sum litel skil in the reeding ov hiz œn tung. Theez children - at eni rait, the grait majoriti - ar aulso taut English, but nekst tu no prœgres iz maid œing tu intrikait speling.

This unfaivorabel komparison haz been in evidens so long that it shood not be difikult for theez peepel - or raather thair skool manijerz - tu realyz that a simpel speling wood imensli fasilitait a nolej ov English, and thai shood thairfor apreeshiait this method and welkum its introdukshon.

English speling never maid a skolar, and, besydz this, it iz not in the leest esenshal that the naitiv shood be ekspert in it. In eni kais he never iz. It iz beter, then, tu sakrifys this doutfool art aultugether, and devœt the hœl tym gaind tuwordz sekeuring a mor ekstended nolej ov English throo the meedium ov the neu speling. Its simplisiti wood maik it posibel for him tu atain a litel skil in reeding deuring hiz short skool lyf, and deuring the prœses he wood bekum familiar with meni English werdz and thair meeningz.

Amungst the abuv peepel, houever, thair iz a konsiderabel number hoo ar desended from British and naitiv pairentij. Thai klaim English az thair muther-tung, and euz it az thair everidai speech. Thair children euz the ordinari skool reederz in thair skoolz, but unforteunaitli the komplikaited speling duz not help and asist them az the simplisiti ov naitiv speling helps the naitiv. Had a simpel speling been availabel thai wood hav been on a level with the peur naitiv, and not at a disadvaantij az at prezent. The advent ov simplifyd speling, houever, oferz a meenz by which this disadvaantij mai be remoovd.

The kontinent ov Africa pozesez anuther reejon whair a simpel speling wood konfer a grait boon. This iz on the west kœst, and strechez 1,900 mylz from the river Gambia tu the Gaboon river, inklooding Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ashantee, ets. Liberaited slaivz from America seteld heer meni yeerz agœ. Thai braut with them and establisht the pekeuliar dyalekt ov English which thai speek, and which iz nœn az "Kroo English" or "Traid English," and iz jenerali understood and spœken throo-out this ekstensiv reejon. The dedli klymait maiks lyf veri short, eeven for naitivz. The saim kauz prœdeusez a veri chainjabel and restles dispozishon. Thai ar inkaipabel ov eni kontineuus egzershon ov mynd or konsentraishon ov thaut - espeshali thair children. Under such kondishonz it iz marvelus that eni meenz ov edeukaishon shood egzist. Nevertheles, a feu Guvernment and mishonari skoolz ar skaterd heer and thair. Aultho the bulk ov the naitivz speek thair œn diferent tunz, yet thair iz a konsiderabel number hoo speek English az thair muther-tung. Theez later ar nateurali taut in English, but thair prœgres iz hamperd and handikapt by the atroeshus klymait, thair short skool lyf, iregeulir atendans, and thair nateural inkapasiti for studi. Theez barierz ar fikst, and kan not be remoovd. Tu them must be aded a fifth, but posibli a remoovabel barier - naimli, the intrikasiz ov English speling - shoorli a wunderfool "kontrapshon" for the prevenshon ov nolej. Edeukaishon in such serkumstansez iz feutyl. But this feutiliti kood be konverted intu a sumwhot konsiderabel mezher ov posibiliti throo the meedium ov a simpel speling.

Az aul, or neerli aul, the uther skoolz reseev instrukshon in English, theez aulso wood benefit by the chainj. It thairfor rekwyrz litel imajinaishon tu forsee the grait improovment which wood spring from its introdukshon. Shood the realyzaishon ov this ever stryk the mynd ov sum mishonari in this benyted land, it kood skairsli fail tu fyr his ambishon tu be wun ov the pyoneerz in this grait reform.

Akros the Atlantic, deu west ov West Africa, lyz the koloni ov British Guiana. In regard tu this reform Guiana iz twin-bruther tu West Africa. Thai ar linkt by the saim kondishonz. Guiana swelterz in heet and iz plaigd with flyz. Its fœk ar the saim neegrœ rais, with the saim lyt-harted and chainjabel naiteur. Thai speek the saim dyalekt. The justifikaishon for a simpel speling iz the saim; but it iz much stronger, bekauz thai speek English œnli and nœ no uther speech. Thai strugel insesantli against heet, against feeverz, against "miskitiz"; and in adishon tu aul theez thair children strugel with the eksentrisitiz ov our speling.

In the fais ov such overwhelming odz, iz it eni wunder that the by-wauter mark ov thair reeding abiliti œnli reechez up tu "The cat sat on the mat," but seldom paasez beyond.

With Guiana thair shood be inklooded the British West Indian Islands, which kontain between too and three milionz ov English-speeking naitivz, and prezent sumwhot similar kondishonz.

Opozishon, hitherto so irezistibel in mor advaanst komeunitiz, shood skairsli fynd eni egzistens amung the naitiv peepel ov eni ov theez reejonz; for the simpel reezon that thai doo not cherish eni sentimental regard for the œld speling. It iz not thai hoo wood rezist, but raather thair edeukaishonal authoritiz, skool manijerz, and mishonariz, neerli aul ov hoom ar, perhaps, Europeanz. Wun or mor ov theez later wood hav tu be wun œver befor the dor ov admishon kood be œpend.

The mœst promising feeld for imeediait akshon wood undoutedli be found amungst theez sekshonz ov the kulord peepel hooz muther-tung iz English. Meni mishonariz ar werking amungst them; and wun important objekt ov thair laibor iz tu provyd theez peepel with just sufishent skooling or teuishon tu enaibel them tu reed the Gospelz flooentli. Komplikaited speling, houever, plus short skool-lyf, plus iregeular atendans, ets., praktikali defeets that objekt. A rezult so disapointing must inklyn sum skool manijerz tu wish for sum chainj promising improovment. No beter oporteuniti than this kood be oferd for perswaiding them tu egzamin simplifyd speling; and ov thœz hoo doo sum wil be shoor tu diskuver the ekseeding rapiditi and shortnes which this "neu kut" prezents for maiking flooent reederz. And shoorli thoez hoo maik that diskuveri wil not be slœ tu taik advaantij ov it.

In the veri improbabel event ov the mor advaanst and mor sivilyzd komeunitiz ov English-speekingdom rezisting and rejekting this reform, then no beter feeld kood be found than amungst the primitiv peepelz ov theez reejonz for demonstraiting and establishing the grait seupeerioriti ov simplifyd œver diversifyd speling.

But no praktikal aplikaishon iz posibel without a mekanikal ekwipment. This wood konsist ov reeding books and the Gospelz - aul printed in simplifyd speling and maid eezili availabel. The availabiliti ov the Gospelz wood eksersyz konsiderabel inflooens, sins sum mishonariz with skoolz under thair kontrœl wood be mor inklynd thairby tu maik eus ov the simplifyd reederz if thai kood aulso be suplyd with the Gospelz in the saim speling.

With enerji it shood not be imposibel tu get a feu eksperiments under wai. Thai wood establish definit and suksesfool rezults. Reformerz wood eegerli await the verdikt, fooli beleeving with the graitest konfidens that it wood prezent a kompleet vindikaishon ov thair faith.

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