Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mr. Trump's spelling problem: Not just a failure to proofread

Sent to the Washington Post

Mr. Trump’s spelling mistakes reflect problems deeper than a failure to proofread (“Elected to read, not to proofread,” March 21, 2018). My research shows that poor spelling is often the result of not having a reading habit. Studies also show that those who read a lot know more about history and science. They also have greater empathy with others, and understand that the world is complex.  

Mr. Trump is a perfect example of a non-reader. 

Stephen Krashen

Krashen, S. 1989. We acquire vocabulary and spelling by reading: Additional evidence for the input hypothesis. Modern Language Journal 73: 440-464.
West, R., Stanovich, K., & Mitchell, H. (1993). Reading in the real world and its correlates. Reading Research Quarterly, 28, 35-50.
Kidd, D., & Castano, E. (2013). Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind. 
Science, 342 (6156), 377-380.
Djikic, M., Oatley, K. & Moldoveanu, M. (2013). Opening the closed mind: The 
effect of exposure to literature on the need for closure. Creativity Research Journal, 25(2), 149-154.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Driverless cars and road safety

Sent  to the New York Post, March 19, 2018

Re: (“Pedestrian killed by driverless Uber, rideshare company suspends program,” March 19, 2018).  

Yes, we should be very concerned about the use of driverless cars. But if we are interested in a large improvement in road safety, let’s increase public transportation: Buses are 60 times as safe as cars, trains about 50 times as safe.  The problem with this obvious solution is that the super-rich make no profit.

Stephen Krashen

The fatality rate per billion miles driven for cars is 7.3, for buses, .11, for trains, .15.