Children in one class of a Belfast primary school will start learning to read this autumn by the newest method yet devised. Instead of the normal 26-letter alphabet, their “readers” will be printed with the 43-letter Augmented Roman alphabet.
Experiments with this alphabet have been tried in America and in various places in Britain. It is claimed that the spelling of words by the Augmented Roman alphabet corresponds much more closely to their sound, and children, therefore, can learn to read much more easily.
The try-out in Belfast will form part of a nationwide experiment sponsored by the Institute of Education of London University.
The approval of parents of children in the class was sought by the education authorities in the city. After hearing details of the scheme, they agreed to allow their children to take part.
The children, all five-year-olds, starting school for the first time this year, will learn to read the augmented alphabet. The experiment will be reviewed at the end of the school year, and again at the end of the following year.