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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Some people say that in our modern age it is unnecessary to teach children about the skills of handwriting. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (21st Jan 2012, Australia GT essay)



A common opinion is that with the increasing role computers play in our society; handwriting is no longer an important skill to learn at an early age.  Unfortunately this opinion is misguided. I firmly believe that handwriting is very important even in today’s era of technology. A number of arguments surround my opinion. 


Handwriting is important because research shows that when children learn how to do it, they also learn how to express themselves. Handwriting is so much more than simply putting letters on a page; it is a key part of learning to communicate. Writing is almost as important as speaking, as a medium for communicating thought. For this reason it is said that "Writing is a secondary power of speech, and they who cannot write are in part dumb." Scrawls that cannot be read may be compared to talking that cannot be understood; and writing difficult to decipher, to stammering speech.
Handwriting is also important because kids are required to use it daily in school from kindergarten on. Children who struggle with the mechanics of handwriting may have trouble taking notes or tests or completing their schoolwork. This can affect both their self-esteem and their attitude toward school. Good handwriting can mean better grades. Studies show that the same mediocre paper is graded much higher if the handwriting is neat and much lower if the writing is not. 

What is more, handwriting proficiency inspires confidence. The more children practice a skill such as handwriting, the stronger the motor pathways become until the skill becomes automatic. Once it's mastered, children can move on to focus on the subject, rather than worry about how to form letters. Furthermore, handwriting aids memory. For example, if a person writes a list or a note — then loses it — he is much more likely to remember what he wrote than if he just tried to memorize it.

In summary, handwriting skills are very essential even today. Apart from being a tool of communication, it helps the brain develop, it can improve grades and confidence and also aids memory.

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