Why English should come first at school

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Have your say

From: Keith Wigglesworth, Mead Way, Highburton, Huddersfield.

MY view on the English as a second language issue is simple. We live in England, our language is English and that language should be taught first and foremost to everyone attending our schools.

By all means allow a child to become fluent in its own native language, but that must be taught by its parents and not at great cost to the British taxpayer.

Does the City of Leeds school intend to employ 50 extra tutors to give individual lessons to users of the 50 different languages 
it is stated to hear in its classrooms?

It is all very altruistic to offer this proposed “enlightened” view of teaching English as a second language, but I feel that such a move would put our own indigenous children at a serious disadvantage and I cannot imagine any one of those 50 countries offering to change its own syllabus to encompass the needs of any English child attending one of their schools.

From: Jim Buckley, Aketon, Pontefract.

THREE cheers for Jonathan Taylor, headmaster of Bootham School (The Yorkshire Post, March 29).

Ofsted, apparently, think they should spend less time on class observation, and more on tick box checking. As Mr Taylor says: “It’s hard to improve something which starts from entirely the wrong premise.”

In other words, something which is wrong, is wrong and even if you “improve” it, it is still wrong.

Mr Taylor acknowledges that his objection is likely to be taken as the cry of a grumpy old man, and he would be better off keeping quiet.

Not so; for by being quiet he would have deprived me of the considerable pleasure I had reading his article. Thank you Mr Taylor, and thank you The Yorkshire Post. Bravo!

Snubbed by
Asda boss

From: S Garnham, Wrights Lane, Knottingley.

ONCE upon a time when you wrote a letter to the managing director or chief executive of a company, they responded personally. Sadly those days have gone and when you complain it goes to the “customer services department”.

This is what happened when I wrote to Andy Clarke, CEO at Asda when I complained about their Pontefract outlet being an obstacle course when trying to shop and not being able to get to goods because of huge cages obstructing me together with being sent to a self-service till because they could not be bothered to open a till. In short, I was told things would change but sadly they did not, and when I ventured in again three weeks later, it was worse than ever and I was advised by their customer services “to get used to it”.

Is this how customers are to be treated now at Asda, Mr Clarke? There are other supermarkets out there if you cannot provide a proper service.

Little boxes
don’t appeal

From: Mr AB Collier, Gordon Road, Bridlington.

HOW I agree with Dave Greenwood in his criticism of the design of new homes (The Yorkshire Post, March 28).

Builders seem to lack very little diversity in design. 
Many new houses have no character, resembling boxes with garages which are only fit for storage purposes being far too small.

Yes, present roof trusses are only fit for dolls’ houses and will take no weight. Trusses should be a lot stouter, enabling lofts to be boarded for storage purposes.

Solar panels should be fitted to all newly built houses and the Government should step in 
and pay a subsidy towards the cost.

Then ground heat source comes into the equation. It is there to be tapped into, not cheap to install, with the piping and the pumps to extract and distribute it.

All the measures mentioned above would increase the cost of a house, but in time would prove cost effective and worthwhile.

Finally, a granddaughter of mine has just bought a new house from a nationwide builder. The general finish is shoddy, to say the least.

Steps towards green future

From: Tony Hargreaves, The Coppice, Lindley, Huddersfield.

UP here in the Pennines, we have a growing population of wind turbines. It won’t be long before every skyline has at least one. Is there an alternative?

There is a way forward, which will generate clean green electricity. The method taps the energy now being stored in surplus body fat.

To exploit this new resource we will require a series of treadmills. Each treadmill will drive a generator. People with surplus fat will sign in and walk the mill for a mile or so. They will be paid for their services, the level of payment being calculated from the amount of time spent walking and their body mass index.

The potential benefits are enormous. For example: the BMI will decrease, the NHS bill for obesity will reduce and there will be no extra CO2 burden on the atmosphere.

There may be other benefits. Replacing those windmills with treadmills might reduce electricity bills – believe it when you see it.