• Written English is an important form of the language. It records words in a permanent and portable form.
  • Nearly everyone agrees: Too many Americans (as many as 50 percent) cannot read or write well enough to achieve their potential capabilities.
  • Nearly everyone agrees: Someone should do something about it; whatever it takes to bring about universal literacy.
  • The major cause of poor English literacy has been known for centuries but that fact is not acknowledged nor even discussed openly by experts in education, psychology, and linguistics, because ....
  • Experts seek the educational equivalent of the "holy grail," a teaching method guaranteed to banish illiteracy. That search always failed in the past and will not succeed in the future, because....
  • Children fail to read, not because of the way they are taught, but because of the nature of what they must learn in order to read and write:
  • Traditional writing uses sequences of letters arbitrarily defined as correct spelling. Very few children have the visual memory and recall abilities to learn it on their own.  Most have great difficulty acquiring the word skills and memorized spellings they need.  Many never do.
  • Often very young children "invent" simple writing systems directly from the internal oral word lists they use for speech. Such transparent writing systems make reading and writing as easy for children as speaking and understanding spoken English.
  • AKSES is an easily learned transparent writing system that children and adults master intuitively.  It offers universal literacy to all Americans.

Index and Page Links

The Chaos of English  The true nature of conventional sound-letter relationships (so-called alphabetic principle).

English Is Broken, but Take Heart, WE CAN FIX IT!   Why English is hard to read and what we can do about it.

Quick Tour of AKSES

Notable Quotes from these pages.


Frequently Asked Questions

Phoneme Set


How and Why It Works

Printed Text -- Examples - Discussion, Poetry, and Historical Speech

Implementation -- An Orthographic revolution?

Dictionary – Concepts for a spelling-to-AKSES transliteration program.

About the Author

Return to Initial Page

Other Links

Spelling Dearest -- This fascinating book is a blow-by-blow description of how English spelling got so messed up.


  Published October 20, 1998 (Last worked on 10/18/09) - James H. Kanzelmeyer