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Literacy [was Re: Happy Conlang day!]

From:Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>
Date:Saturday, July 21, 2001, 15:28
Yoon Ha Lee wrote:

> What are literacy standards in any associated concultures with your conlangs? > How is writing/reading taught, if at all?
Kernow: I would suspect that education is compulsory in Kemr, so reading and writing would be taught through conventional, British means in Kernow. It probably involves a lot of alphabet singing and sounding out of words. Kernow children struggle with a similar tangled web of spelling as do English speaking children; on account of the language having a similarly sadistic spelling system. The Province has the lowest literacy rate in the country, though. Nationwide, Functional literacy is at about 60% (or 80%, depending on whose numbers you look at). Certainly this varies by region; Kernow is probably at or just below the 60% mark, while Gwent and Termorgan are probably above 80%. As many as 5 to 10% of Kemrese in general are illiterate; probably more like 15 to 20% in Kernow proper. [Functional literacy here means "having the basic reading skills and mathematic competencies necessary to function at a very basic level in society."] It's common to blame the education system; but the real problem is more likely poor school attendance. The rural nature of much of the population, and the inaccessability of many locationss places much strain on school education. While most children are expected to go to school for a few years, they often drop out to work the farm or learn a trade. Of the children who regularly attend and complete primary school, most go on to secondary. Not many go on to university, though a fair number attend tertiary vocational schools. The majority of urban children do attend and complete through secondary school at least. Telleran: The Talarians are not a very literate people; literacy most likely being at around 1 to 5%. Education largely centers around studying scripture, which is accomplished at temple schoolss under the guidance of a priest. Out in the country where there are no or few temples, wandering scholars are relied upon to help people patch together a more thorough knowledge of scriptural matters. Children chosen for further education are sent to a temple school. The informal education that many receive at the temple schools or through a wandering scholar yields a very basic if shaky literacy: they can keep basic records, do basic sums and sign their name. The more formal education yields a considerably literate person of well rounded education. They are conversant in theology, history, literature, foreign languages, mathematics, music, etc. Reading and writing would be taught through study of scripture at first. Other literature and more competent writing skills come at a higher level of education. Functional literacy is at somewhere around 80 to 90%. [Functional literacy here meaning "ability to sign name, keep basic records and do basic sums."] Padraic.
> Yoon Ha Lee, working as a student teacher in a summer middle school in > Santa Clara