LETTER : Reading English

Sir: I can tell Trevor McDonald how to induce the young to speak and write good English. As a child I was lonely, since there were no playmates nearby and my much older siblings were at boarding school. I was deprived of television (not yet invented), radio (the parental set was not available to me) and cinema (non-existent locally), so my absorbing passion was reading the books in my nursery, books borrowed from school or grown-up books in the parental library. The result was that I automatically and painlessly learnt how to spell, write and speak grammatical and coherent English.

Alice H Bird