Orson Scott Card: Teaching our teens to speak

When I was young, back in the previous millennium, the California school system was the best in the world. And one of the things they did, which few schools seem to do anymore, was teach their students to speak.

We memorized poems. We recited them. We read aloud. And the teachers actually critiqued us on whether we could be understood.

Such a simple thing — memorization, reading and intelligibility of speech. But our society has evolved to despise such things.

Raw memorization — one of the few markers of intelligence which can be improved with practice — is now treated as cruelty to children instead of mind-stretching exercise.

When it comes to reading aloud or reciting, it would be shockingly wrong for a modern teacher to criticize the way a student talks. That might lead to low self-esteem.

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