September 1961


The Initial Teaching Alphabet

James Pitman’s Initial Teaching Alphabet

is tested in a number of schools

The  i.t.a. was regarded as a great idea but a dismal failure.

So many children were left floundering in its wake.

Talk to anyone today who was taught to read through i.t.a. and they will almost invariably tell you they have never been able to spell correctly since.

It was based on symbols for the 44 sounds in English but the problems arose with the transition to the accepted spelling.

i.t.a. was more or less abandoned in the sixties/early seventies.


James Pitman is the grandson of Sir Isaac Pitman the founder of shorthand.



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