Thursday, December 15, 2011


Question: How should handwriting be taught?

Answer/Quote: “Although there is a school of thought in the U.K. which advocates cursive writing from the beginning, there is no doubt that the great majority of teachers teach print first and then, with students of about 7 or 8 years, progress to cursive writing.”

Quote: “I align myself with those who prefer the two stage policy for the [following] reasons….Print is more legible and corresponds and relates to print in books.” P. 28.

Comment: Should handwriting be taught at all today in the era of keyboards and voice-activated software?

 First, legibility is important I would like to have a penny for every time I have victimized myself by my own illegible handwriting. The amount of time I have spent going back to sources because I can’t read my own handwriting infuriates me. Wasted energy and time.

Second: Writing tests and tests with open-ended questions that do not use computers require handwriting—legible handwriting.

Third: voice activation, like Dictaphones, will never replace excellent writing in standard English. Too much like informal English with repetition, poor word choice, verbosity, etc.

Fourth, if you can’t write legibly in cursive, use print. You can write as quickly in print as you can in cursive. The key is legibility. RayS.

Title: “Handwriting in the United Kingdom.” Peter Smith. Reading Teacher (October 1987), 27-31.

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