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Spelling Crisis -

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(generated from captions) Welcome back. Now to spelling. Earlier this week we showed you Year 12 students who couldn't spell everyday words. They failed our test miserably. For example, no-one was able to spell 'souvenir'. Well, a flood of your emails, letters and phone calls confirmed

Now it's teachers under the microscope. Secret research reveals many of them can't spell. They don't even know how to teach our children to spell. In a moment we'll hear some startling admissions from Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson, but first, just have a listen to this, from Denyse Ritchie, a professional teacher trainer who knows exactly what's going on. We've had a lot of teachers we've been doing a lot of phonemic testing with, and phonemic testing is testing of their knowledge

with sounds and words. We're absolutely shocked with the results that we have. And we're getting an 80%-85% failure rate with teachers with simple words, about being able to break them up into their correct sounds and be able to tell us the correct number of syllables in those words.

Minister, thank you for your time.

What do you think of that report

that says 85% of teachers can't

spell? Firstly, it's very disturbing,

spell? Firstly, it's very disturbing, Ray, as a parent myself,

we love our children, we want them

to be able to learn, read, write,

count and communicate. I'd also say

to you that I'm not surprised.

Clearly the stories we've done this

last week on spelling have clearly

touched a raw nerve amongst

Australians. They obviously think

that spelling is important. It's

absolutely special if you want to

set a young person up for failure in life,

set a young person up for failure in life, then neglect the

importance of spelling, grammar and

punk chaigz. For some time - Why

don't teachers think it's

important? What seems to have

happened is over the last 20-30

years, there seem to be a bunch of

bureaucrats who have thrown parents

and common sense into the back seat.

But you're the Federal Minister.

Doesn't that help? I say to your

viewers, how is it we can live in

Doesn't that help? I say to your viewers, how is it we can live in a

country where a child can spend

five years in the education system

and then say to a person running the

remedial reading program "I didn't

realise it was the black stuff you

read." 10,000 teachers under the

age of survey were in a survey, and

60% were not adequately taught to

teach reading in Australian schools.

60% of early-career teachers can't

60% of early-career teachers can't recognise a sillble when it's

presented to them. That's where the

real reforms thin iscountry need to

be driven. We've had a lot of

emails about this toppic. Here's one

from a lady in NSW.

That's what they read in the books

anyway, the American spelling. What do you

anyway, the American spelling. What do you think of that? I think it's

appalling. In any other profession,

there would be suggestions of

professional misconduct. My

10-year-old daughter two nights ago

showed me her schoolbacks. This is where

This is where the teacher made the

mistake. The teachers need to

accept that if you are a teacher

and cannot spell and are giving

children the wrong, false or

misleading information, perhaps

there is no place for your you in

teaching. A chat with a 25-year-old

7th-grade teacher. She said:

Right across Australia, if you have

examples like that, please send

them to me, care of Parliament

House, Canberra. I need this

amuniition when I take these fights

with up with State and Territory

governments. The best people in

this are the parents. If you've got

the time, send me examples like

that because that is what I need to

break through the apologists for all

break through the apologists for

break through the apologists for all this, otherwise known as State

education ministers. Thank you for

education ministers. Thank you for your time again. Thank you, Ray. Scary, isn't it? Why don't you take Brendan Nelson up on his offer