1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

How were we taught to read?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Lilybett, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Serious question.
    I started school in 1990. How did they do it then?
    Isn't Phonics a dreadful heap of ****?
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I wasn't
    possibly whole language
    not if you know what you are doing

  3. Surely all that happens is that you're taught this codswallop and then you get a bit older and have to learn how to actually spell this idiosyncratic language of ours.
    I despair of how appalling (but phonetically plausible) my class' spelling is.
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Not if they are being taught effectively
  5. In that case, the children in my Y3 class were taught it completely ineffectively at the 'Outstanding' infant school they came up from!
    Wouldn't Phonics be better as an intervention programme?
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Can I suggest you book yourself some phonics training
  7. I've had it!
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  9. Why is it so implausible that somebody could think Phonics is a bit of a dud? If you invented it, apologies for calling it ****.
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    no I'm not that old ...phonics has been the main method for over 400 years apart from a brief period in the late 80s/90s
  11. I was teaching reading in the 1990s and I used phonics.
    I agree that if it's taught properly it works. However, it doesn't just stop at key stage one. It has to be continued throughout key stage 2.
    Good luck with it!
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    so was I but whole language and real books were widely promoted at the time
    I agree
  13. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    all I know is that the kids who turn up in my Year 3 class these days can't spell for toffee. They can't spell words like coat and been, despite 3 years of Phonics. Wind back 10 years and these spellings were secure by the end of Year 2.
  14. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I started school in 1991, I don't remember being taught to read as such (I think I could probably read before starting school) but I do remember taking little tins of words home. I remember when I first started being most confused at being given wordless books to take home to "read" so I can only assume I could read already and therefore expected words.
    Being taught to write and spell,....I know that right through Year 1 the way I was taught was to tell the teacher what I wanted to write, they wrote it for me and I copied it. Not sure what I learned doing this tbh. I was never taught spelling, I was simply given a list of words to take home once a week from about Y3 onwards, and tested a few days later. I nearly always did badly because my Mum didn't make me learn them!
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I went to school in 1974 and I think it was 'look and say' in those days. Different methods work better for different children dont they? My daughter didnt go to school, I didnt teach her phonics and she had read the entire Harry Potter series by the age of 7.
    On the other hand I taught phonics to three youngsters in yrs 1 and 2 as a daily intervention and I have them again in year 4. They struggled to read back then but I see them using their phonics knowledge every day to help them read. I think it has done them a world of good.
  16. Our orthography is phonetic - there is no way round that therefore in order to become good at reading you have to somehow learn all of the grapheme/phoneme correspondences (ugh!!!!) It doesn't matter a tuppeny dam how you learn them but you have to learn them. Whatever strategy you use to teach reading initially or even if you dont use any strategy, 80% of children will learn to read anyway - Key Stage data shows this to have been the case since the national curriculum was introduced some 20 years ago.
    Most of the 80% of adults who are competent readers must necessarily know all the grapheme/phoneme correspondences (ughhh!) or they would not be able to read - they may not know that they know them because they were never taught them (lucky them)
    Those of us who learned to read without the benefit of synthetic phonics, analytic phonics, searchlights, reading recovery, whole word or any of the other 'eureka strategyies' learned the sounds the letters make 'perceptually' With perceptual learning, there is nothing to forget because there is nothing to remember and teachers don't like that - they like their 'drill and practice' routines (keeps the *** in their place!). Children who learn to read after having been taught by Synthetic Phonics would have learned to read however they were taught. The 20% or so who go on to leave school illiterate every year, perceive reading not as 'reading' but as a decoding exercise. Ever wondered how the children who come to school able to read learned to do it without the benefit of synthetic phonics, Level 1 graphemes ete etc The answer is easy - they learned perceptually.
    Some teachers and teachins assistants will tell you that children are better spellers when they are taught by synthetic phonics but that is just one those 'anecdotal' stories which is supported by so-called 'evidence - not proof - just 'evidence' the same kind of evidence that supports the notion that the earth is flat - they know its flat because they have been to its four corners.

  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    This is how I learned to read. I would read 'up and down' and realise the word was down through its context then over time realise that the ow makes the same sound in other words, not consciously but as you say over time through experience. And this is fine and dandy.
    Are there though children who are unable to do this, or at least find it very difficult? I think I have come across children like this. They need to be 'taught' that ow makes the 'ow' sound and have it repeated many time over a long period of time, then they get it, so when they see the word gown, they remember what sound the ow makes and read it. Nothing wrong with that either is there?
  18. I agree - this is why I think it should be an intervention programme for chn who struggle.
    There are bright - really bright - chn in my class whose spelling is absolutely attrocious but, as I say, completely phonetically plausible. It's maddening!
    I wish I could remember how I learned. I just knew a bit more with each passing year until I got L6 in Y6 and, subsequently, a puppy. [​IMG] I shudder to think of the silly mistakes I would have been making if I'd had Phonics drilled into me.
  19. I've been working with KS3 'strugglers' for the last 12 years and all I can say is that the phonetic spelling that is beginning to come through now from KS1 is a huge improvement on the garbage which was being presented a few years ago. Then it was a question of hurling a few letters down on the page and hoping for the best.
  20. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    This is often because they stopped learning phonics too early. It is the later part of phase 5 where they learn and practise the alternative spellings for various phonemes and which one is the most sensible guess when they aren't sure.

    If your year 3 children cannot spell correctly I would suggest you look at lots of phase 5 resources and teaching plans and fit a fair amount of it into your literacy lessons.

    Also remember spelling in the national curriculum at level 3 is only to be able to spell words in a phonetically plausible manner. (And the NC is far older than Letters and Sounds!) Not very many of year 3 children will be working above level 3 in most schools, so what you describe is normal. It is the year 3 teachers' jobs to continue to teach their classes how to use their knowledge to spell words.

Share This Page