I am pleased to announce that we have made amazing progress in teaching literacy in primary and secondary schools of Papua New Guinea. Over the years, the standard has dropped badly largely the result of expatriate language teachers leaving the country.
The big break came with Norman Sike who recognized the value of Mastery Learning and put me to work to lift the standard of literacy in his business college. Norman funded a book in Mastery Writing as our contribution to the nation. He even had me come on the national TV to talk of mastering the basics of literacy.
A senior officer in Papua New Guinea Education was delighted with our work and said that this was the Missing Link. Dr Benjamin Bloom would agree with him. The officer was meaning that schools teach nouns, verbs, full stops, clauses and phrases.
But there is no awareness of how it is all put together into a way of writing that business people, journalists and novelists might use. Many PNG students have a style we might call baby talk with simple sentences, repetition of words and no connectors.
My name is John. I live in a village. It is a small village. It is a village near the river. The river is the Sepik River. I live with my mother and my father. My mother lives in the village and works in the garden. My father works in Wewak. I have two brothers. I have two sisters. My brothers and sisters go to school. It is a small school near the village. I go to school too.