Left-Handed Language, Teaching and Writing
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In this issue..
1. Left handed language
2. Teacher training and left-handed children
3. Writing left-handed
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We are often contacted by Members about words and phrases related to being left-handed in their language. It seems to have always been the case that any word that is used to mean “left-handed” has also come to mean something bad as well. From the Latin “sinister” to the French “gauche” and many more, it seems every country has its own lingual abuse for lefthanders!
What did we ever do to deserve all this?
We have gone through all the emails and web site comments and updated our web page about lefty language recently and you can see some of the more “interesting” (!) ones below. If you have any other examples or know more about those shown on the web page please let us know.
For lots more like this and other interesting lefty language information
Now we are going to start a search for positive references to left-handedness in language! A quick search in Google brings up things like:
There must be more – please let us know what you can find – add a comment to the Lefty Language page to let us know.
Over many years we have been encouraging teacher training organisations to give more consideration to the requirements of left-handed children and providing information to help raise teachers’ awareness of the issues. There are a few simple things teachers can do in the classroom to make a dramatic difference to left-handers in their early years at school and avoid problems as they develop through the education system.
These are basic things such as:
Unfortunately, we know from the huge amount of correspondence we get as well as responses to our surveys and comments on our website that these things do not happen as a matter of course. Often it is only when the teacher is left-handed or the parents of the left-handed child really push for changes that the left-handed children get the proper advice and help they need.
Understanding the needs of left-handed children and how to help them is supposed to be a part of the Teacher Training Curriculum in the UK, but it seems to get little attention in practice.
When we included this item in a recent newsletter, we received a massive response and you can see our analysis of that and our follow up article here.
We are now moving on to a survey in schools to find out what is actually happening on the ground and then producing guidelines for parents to pass to their children’s teachers as well as trying to get them circulated through teacher training and education authorities – watch out for updates in our LHC Newsletters.
Writing is something that can be a problem for left-handers of all ages as we have to push the pen or pencil across the page from left to right rather than pulling it like a right-hander. This can mean that the nib or point digs into the paper and we get no ink flow. Also, as our hand is following directly behind our writing, it can cause smudging and the familiar inky hand.
However, following some simple basic guidance on paper position, grip and writing posture plus making use of the specially designed left-handed pens and writing aids that are available can quickly solve all the issues and there is no reason us lefthanders should not be able to write as quickly and neatly as anyone else. Here are some links to the writing information and products on our web site:
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