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how cogent is the english language system?

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Introduction

How cogent is the argument for changing the English Language spelling system? In this essay I will be studying the irregularities of the English language spelling system and give critical information of the problems. Also I will display obstacles within the language and display the difficulties of learning the language, whether being a toddler or a foreign learner. I will provide an in depth analysis of the spelling system and give examples of people who have attempted to change the system in the past. There are many arguments for the change of the English spelling system. However other people disagree with the change due to cultural reasons and the sheer disruption to an already educated person. The reasons for people wanting to change the system include the very poor phonemic content and the extreme foreign influence from other languages all over the world. One of the problems of the spelling system includes the phonetic content. . This can create a large learning barrier for one learning the language. Many words have silent letters and collections of letters to mean one sound. For example rough, though and thought all have the same letter combination but different sounds are made. ...read more.

Middle

Some people in the past have attempted to reform the system, however they weren't successful. Examples include Harry Lindgren who thought of the idea to amend the vowel sound. In 1969 he stated that the vowel sound in 'bed' is always spelt just <e>, giving 'meny', 'frend', 'lepard', 'hefer', 'gess', 'hemorrhage', 'hed', 'thret' and 'mesure' for example. This reform would only cause minor changes on a piece of text. The 'cut spelling act' in 1992 explained that misleading letters were cut out and shortening text by up to 10%. For example the new method would be written like this: 'cut spelling leves out most silent letrs. Another reformation attempt was in 1948. It aimed at total regularity but changes the look of language more radically, as here: 'In nue speling wurdz which sound aliek wood noe longger be distinggwishabl.' If we were to change the English spelling system several positive and negative factors would transpire. Initially the positive impacts would be that young learners of the language (3-6 years old) would benefit, as they will have a more systematic system by using phonetics to spell and following the phonetic alphabet. Also in order to make an impact on toddlers learning the language the best way is to introduce the new system as early into their academic start. ...read more.

Conclusion

I understand the low literacy levels in Great Britain but I think that this will increase literacy levels among the older generation and result in confusion. The argument for changing the system is strong in some ways but not in others. Changing the system would dramatically improve children's skill of reading and writing and make words easier to write and say. But there is the already educated people who will most certainly disagree to the change as they have completed their education and will not want to 'be at school' again. Also there will be an economical impact for the worse, as money will be given out to re-train teaching staff and the production of new reading and writing aids. The English culture may be diminished, the rapid change of words and letters (if phonetic symbols were introduced). Ultimately the change, in my point of view, is an enormous risk to take and will create confusion among the population. As you can see the negative points out-weigh the positive ones in this piece and therefore I believe that the change is definitely the wrong choice to make. I think the alternative would be to teach only the subject English until the age of four or five. Consequently the argument for changing the English spelling system is unquestionably not cogent. Blakesley Orr ...read more.

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