Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Devoted to the discussion of skills applicable in an urban environment

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
jor-el
* * * * *
Posts: 5210
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:42 am
Location: Watching over Metropolis

Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by jor-el » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:58 am

http://nypost.com/2014/02/23/students-d ... Newsletter" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I used to live six blocks from the problem school. I had an option to go there or go to Brooklyn Technical High. I went with Brooklyn Tech. Even back in the 1970's this place had a certain reputation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooklyn_T ... igh_School" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murry_Berg ... igh_School" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

When I worked in lower Manhattan, I used to get overtime for monitoring school dismissals at that school. The "English" majors at that school helped pay for my car.




Does anyone disagree that reading and writing English would be incredibly helpful in survival? Or is being able to understand the label of a food can for fools?
Last edited by jor-el on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
My son, you will travel far, but never be alone, for I am with you, my M14 and battle axe comfort you.

Das Sheep
* * * *
Posts: 874
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:50 pm

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Das Sheep » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:15 pm

How much do the teachers who work there make?


And yes, being well spoken and understanding the written word does get you further in life.

User avatar
jor-el
* * * * *
Posts: 5210
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:42 am
Location: Watching over Metropolis

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by jor-el » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:31 pm

About the same salary range as cops, though it maxes out 10 grand higher (and takes a lot more than 5 years to hit).
My son, you will travel far, but never be alone, for I am with you, my M14 and battle axe comfort you.

User avatar
jor-el
* * * * *
Posts: 5210
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:42 am
Location: Watching over Metropolis

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by jor-el » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:34 pm

You really should read the letters the students sent to defend this sham of an English course.
My son, you will travel far, but never be alone, for I am with you, my M14 and battle axe comfort you.

Das Sheep
* * * *
Posts: 874
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:50 pm

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Das Sheep » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:38 pm

Making school very easy does not do the kids attending it any favors. At all.

User avatar
raptor
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 16948
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Location: Greater New Orleans Area

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by raptor » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:16 pm

Having the ability read and write english is IMO absolutely critical for a variety of reasons. In industrial settings the inability to read and comprehend MSDS sheets is a valid reason for termination of an employee.

That the ability read and write other languages is likewise very handy. I understand and can speak (albeit very poorly and with a horrible accent) a couple of other languages. I never tell people I do not know that I can understand these languages.

Many people whose native language is not english automatically assume most Americans cannot speak anything but english (with good reason I may add).

I have had native spanish and french speakers speak to a companion and say things that were quite advantageous for me to know in spanish or french assuming I had not a clue to what they were saying. I encourage this by saying (with a smile on my face) in effect "Sorry I did not catch that". Sometimes the appearance of ignorance is useful.

The ability to communicate in both written and oral form is absolutely vital. I would likewise say you should learn any language to which you are commonly exposed.

BTW english is the official language of flying. If you go to any airport or country the aircraft communication will be conducted in english(or at least something that resembles english). This has caused problems for instance the 747 collision on Tenerife, Canary Island but it is still a rule.

User avatar
yossarian
* * * * *
Posts: 2164
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:09 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Army of Darkness, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead(remake)

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by yossarian » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:00 pm

Sum of these kids mite acshually be mor gooder at speling and riting becuz of this awsum scool. U dont no whut there riting lookd lik b4.
" So, brave knights,
if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further,
for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth."

User avatar
Purple_Mutant
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 606
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:34 am
Location: CM97

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Purple_Mutant » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:43 am

raptor wrote:
I have had native spanish and french speakers speak to a companion and say things that were quite advantageous for me to know in spanish or french assuming I had not a clue to what they were saying. I encourage this by saying (with a smile on my face) in effect "Sorry I did not catch that". Sometimes the appearance of ignorance is useful.
My mom is from Mexico, so I speak Spanish fluently; but I don't look Mexican. As raptor has pointed out, that can have it's uses. Given the large numbers of Mexicans in CA, I am glad I speak Spanish. If you live in an area with a large Hispanic population, it's probably not a bad idea to learn some amount of Spanish. Perhaps we should have a thread on "survival Spanish". If people can come up with words and phrases that are useful in an emergency, I can see about translating them into Spanish.

As for OP's question; it's very important to know the dominant language as best you can. The skull and cross bones on the package lets you know it's poison. But the text lets you know what to do when your kid accidentally drank half the bottle. Also, it's important to be able to understand instruction/commands from emergency personnel. In the PAW a good command of language can be VERY important. In a serious collapse of civilization, you may have warlords springing up. An illiterate (or nearly so) population is easier to control. Think of how in the book 1984 the party is reformulating the English language to eliminate words that can lead to dissent. How can you fight for your freedom, if the word isn't part of your vocabulary? How can you explain to someone that you were raped if the word doesn't exist in your vocabulary? That last one is sadly true. I had a relative who had been raped when she was younger. It's wasn't until decades later that she was able to fully understand/explain what happened; because at the time of the incident the word rape wasn't part of her vocabulary. So yea I would say that good command of the dominant language is VERY important.
Apathy wrote:We are a bunch of adults who own too many guns and actively prepare for the zombie apocalypse. There is something wrong with each and every one of us.
Emergency prep and Autism

Acronyms

My photography and art

Zimmy
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 965
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 11:11 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days later, Return of the Living Dead
Location: Trinity City, Texas

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Zimmy » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:03 am

Being able to speak well and conduct yourself with manners and composure can open a lot of doors that might otherwise be instantly closed to a person with nothing but swag, slang, and bling.

It doesn't matter what you need or have to say if nobody is willing to listen because you present yourself as an ignorant jackass. You need to be able to communicate to influence your world.
Boldly going nowhere

User avatar
Mikeyboy
* * * * *
Posts: 2265
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 8:00 am

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Mikeyboy » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:41 am

It is sad. I grew up in Philly and we had similar public schools. A good friend of mine was actually the valedictorian from one of these High Schools without even trying. He was basically a tough kid with average intelligence, in a senior class of hoodlums with preschool reading and writing levels. Some of the stories he would tell me were amazing. It sounded like a cross between a Gladiator training camp and Sodom and Gomorrah. He learned absolutely nothing in high school and actually got most of his education watching TV and reading newspapers. This was in the late 1980's early 1990's, its probably significant worse now. In some urban areas the public school system are completely broken to the point where kids are better off staying home.

My concern is you have thousands of crappy public school in cities across the US, not just moving uneducated kids along and giving them a diploma, but creating a atmosphere of lawlessness, criminality, and anarchy. Its kind of like putting a relatively good person into a hardcore prison. Prison life will crush that person's spirit, and make a good person bad. Also being expose to other hard core criminals will actually make a petty criminal worse when they get out.

Bad public schools is just one factor that makes bad neighborhoods bad. You have too many uneducated people with criminal leanings in one area. In a SHTF event (Like the Rodney King Riots) this can turn into a powder keg.

User avatar
stewie-Y
*
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:51 am
Location: Utah

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by stewie-Y » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:03 pm

Where I live basic Spanish would be a valuable skill also.

KnifeStyle
* * *
Posts: 527
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:33 pm

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by KnifeStyle » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:58 pm

Basic language comprehension is necessary for self-learning and individual development, the ability to pick up a book and understand its contents allows an individual to access information and data. Individuals who are illiterate or linguistically challenged simply can't grasp this because of their limited vocabulary or hindered thinking process. Nowadays, the book has been replaced with any device with internet access. Everyone on this forum has learned skills online, as most forum users in general will report. While we all know a few idiots and trolls, forum users at large still express themselves better and converse better than what you'll usually see on Facebook and other social media where people just talk like they're texting. For fun, find a Facebook group about something you're familiar with. Guns, bushcraft, gardening, etc. Now, find a forum on that topic and compare them side by side. You'll find forum users are debating concepts, using somewhat educated terminology, and pursuing goals while the Facebook people are posting pictures and asking 'where you get that?'. Many social media users may have difficulties following or understanding forum threads, and thus switch back to using the internet as a bulletin board and telephone rather than a research device.

That being said, I've lived in third world countries where illiterate individuals can still function, thrive, and benefit their community because they learned holistically from their surroundings and traditional mentoring system. These cultures taught through word of mouth and traditional trade skills, how to solve a problem and figure out what it means. Frankly, unless you had some really awesome or lucky parents, this is becoming rarer and rarer in first world nations due to changing cultures and priorities. This culture relies on textbooks and the web...But never really teaches you how to use them. College students pay thousands for textbooks they never read fully, and everyone reading this has spent many hours of their life looking at Grumpy cat.

Nowadays in Western culture, 'learning how to learn' is actually the structure of graduate and doctorate degrees. You can take a kid with a masters and tell them to go teach a five month class on a topic they have no familiarity with. They are then able to outline the concept, determine the key points, and reformat it into a form that will be accessible for their students. Their skill level determines how much information they are able to pass on, while their experience level dictates the quality of information being presented. You can be an amazing teacher who can make every point stick, but if you've really done your field work your students will benefit from your observations.
jamoni wrote:Zombie Squad, the things you have experience with scare me.

User avatar
itzybitzyspyder
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:12 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Night of the Living DeadBoth), Dawn of the Dead(both, 28 Days Later, the crappy ones on SyFy channel, B movies
Location: Broomfield, Colorado

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:52 pm

My English is so good that I can read terrible handwriting and understand horribly spoken English. I tell foreign people who second guess their every other word that my English is good enough for the both of us so just spit it out. I'm good at adapting to accents, too. A few weeks with a group of people that all talk the same and I'll end up emulating their speech. My biggest fault, I think, is that I'm not patient enough to teach. I guess if it were the zpaw there would either be too little or too much spare time for learning. I'm sure it depends on your preps, though.
~sent via pigeon with a note on it's foot

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 13580
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Time Out

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Stercutus » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:34 pm

English is.valuable. Paying attention is priceless.
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

User avatar
Purple_Mutant
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 606
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:34 am
Location: CM97

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Purple_Mutant » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:40 pm

stewie-Y wrote:Where I live basic Spanish would be a valuable skill also.
Yea in some places knowing a second would help. I am thankful that I was raised in a bilingual household. Speaking Spanish fluently is handy if you live in California.
Apathy wrote:We are a bunch of adults who own too many guns and actively prepare for the zombie apocalypse. There is something wrong with each and every one of us.
Emergency prep and Autism

Acronyms

My photography and art

User avatar
ManInBlack316
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 677
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:28 pm
Location: Tampa Bay Area, Florida

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by ManInBlack316 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:15 pm

I was wondering if there was a survival spanish thread somewhere, but I always forgot to check. Living in Florida, knowing some spanish helps, especially if you go to the east coast side. The lack of english skills in my generation honestly scares me, I went to high school with a girl who couldn't read beyond a first grade level. Another thing we are losing is articulation in our speech; I'm guilty of this since I come from an urban area, we speak way too fast and need to slow down, at least I do, and I'm working on it.

User avatar
Purple_Mutant
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 606
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:34 am
Location: CM97

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Purple_Mutant » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:15 am

ManInBlack316 wrote:I was wondering if there was a survival spanish thread somewhere, but I always forgot to check. Living in Florida, knowing some spanish helps, especially if you go to the east coast side.
That's something we should work on. If we can come up with a good list of basic words and phrases, I can translate them. You might even be able to coerce me into making a youtube video so you can hear them spoken. It would be cool if speakers of other languages took those same words and phrases and translated them. We could have our own ZS langauge dictionaries.

The words/phrases should be fairly simple so they are easy to use. The Spanish (or other language) doesn't have to be 100% correct, it just needs to be understandable. So I might omit a word here or there if it isn't needed to understand the phrase. For example take the phrase "Where does it hurt?". The correct spanish would be "¿En donde te duele?". That could be shortened to "¿Donde te duele?".

Just for fun we might do an English to lolspeak dictionary. During a disaster we might have to communicate with teenagers :wink: :lol:
Apathy wrote:We are a bunch of adults who own too many guns and actively prepare for the zombie apocalypse. There is something wrong with each and every one of us.
Emergency prep and Autism

Acronyms

My photography and art

User avatar
ManInBlack316
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 677
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:28 pm
Location: Tampa Bay Area, Florida

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by ManInBlack316 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:03 pm

I'm actually taking Spanish through work right now, it's been interesting to try to listen to Spanish speakers in public, if they aren't going to fast for me that it, especially when they're making fun of that waitress behind her back. I think a survival language thread is an awesome idea. And I'm not sure we could even translate lol speak, the cultural barrier might be too much :awesome:

User avatar
stewie-Y
*
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:51 am
Location: Utah

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by stewie-Y » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:49 pm

What are you all referring to when you say "survival Spanish thread"? Like a thread with a dictionary of basic survival words in Spanish?

User avatar
Evan the Diplomat
* * * * *
Posts: 2220
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:48 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Savageland
Location: Fairfax, VA

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:58 pm

Basic Spanish phrases for ZS members? You can start with "manos arriba!"

That means hands up.

You can follow that up with "Estoy Armado" and "no se mueven"

I am armed. Don't move
Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody happy as the dead come home

Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No-one move a muscle as the dead come home

Doctorr Fabulous
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 12210
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:06 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Evil Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days/Weeks Later

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:04 pm

Just a reminder, being able to spit out a phrase doesn't help if you have no fuckign idea what they're saying to you. Something like Duolingo would be a good free start, or Rosetta Stone if you're ready to plunk down cash. Get the whole family, or several friends to learn with you so you can practice with each other. Also, watching children's shows in said foreign language can help.

Speaking and comprehending another language poorly is infinitely better than just speaking your own language louder and slower to someone who doesn't understand it.
Opinions subject to change in light of new information.
Image
http://i.imgur.com/wG6ZMjE.jpg

User avatar
Purple_Mutant
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 606
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:34 am
Location: CM97

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by Purple_Mutant » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:05 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Just a reminder, being able to spit out a phrase doesn't help if you have no fuckign idea what they're saying to you. Something like Duolingo would be a good free start, or Rosetta Stone if you're ready to plunk down cash. Get the whole family, or several friends to learn with you so you can practice with each other. Also, watching children's shows in said foreign language can help.

Speaking and comprehending another language poorly is infinitely better than just speaking your own language louder and slower to someone who doesn't understand it.

Absolutely! Having some level of comprehension is a good idea. Good thinking on children's shows. Pocoyo is a good choice for Spanish. My mom used to teach Spanish at a community college. She is currently teaching Spanish to a couple of first graders. One thing she has them do is watch Pocoyo.

Rather than a ZS language dictionary, in person lessons would be a better option. If someone in a ZS chapter speaks another language, members of said chapter could get together to learn a few things. Once we get ZSC:15 back up and running properly, I might be persuaded to teach some Spanish.

Thanks for the input Doctorr Fabulous. It's very helpful to have someone else point out flaws in ones plan. :D
Apathy wrote:We are a bunch of adults who own too many guns and actively prepare for the zombie apocalypse. There is something wrong with each and every one of us.
Emergency prep and Autism

Acronyms

My photography and art

User avatar
TacAir
* * * * *
Posts: 8084
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Is Basic English a Valuable Skill?

Post by TacAir » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:48 pm

Just how much Engrish do you need to get by? About 850 words, it would seem.


Basic English is an English-based controlled language created by linguist and philosopher Charles Kay Ogden as an international auxiliary language, and as an aid for teaching English as a second language. Basic English is, in essence, a simplified subset of regular English. It was presented in Ogden's book Basic English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar (1930).

Ogden's Basic, and the concept of a simplified English, gained its greatest publicity just after the Allied victory in the Second World War as a means for world peace. Although Basic English was not built into a program, similar simplifications have been devised for various international uses. Ogden's associate I. A. Richards promoted its use in schools in China. More recently, it has influenced the creation of Voice of America's Special English for news broadcasting, and Simplified English, another English-based controlled language designed to write technical manuals.

What survives today of Ogden's Basic English is the basic 850-word list used as the beginner's vocabulary of the English language taught worldwide, especially in Asia.
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

Post Reply

Return to “Urban Skillz”