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Is Wilshaw right about phonics?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Wasn't phonics a cause of an epic thread on oldTES?

    Other than that I'm secondary so... I know nothin!
  3. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    I'm no expert in this I will be the first to admit. I struggled with this whilst some one-to-one in a primary school a few years back.

    But how can you use phonics to teach a language that isn't really phonic based and has so many exceptions?
  4. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    It's a huge can of worms best kept with the lid tightly on.
  5. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Isn't the source of this "phonics is best" saga down to one study of 300 kids in Clackmananshire?
  6. yfel_endwerce

    yfel_endwerce Established commenter

    Hell no

    I have noticed that many of the thread titles on this forum can be simply defined as questions that can, and probably should, be answered with simple affirmative or negatives.
    Yes and No, however are slightly boring and so, to prevent a certain monosyllabic monotony, I will be responding with variations of

    1. Hell no! (negative)
    2. Do bears poo in the woods? (affirmative)
    I trust this meets with the approval of the moderation team?
  7. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    It was the subject of the Rose Review 2006 (Simple View of Reading) but has moved on since then. The DfE published some data last year from phonics screening results which 'proved' that systematic phonics teaching improved reading levels in year 1 children, despite some commentators arguing that it was inconclusive. The benefit of phonics does seem to plateau in years 2 onwards, possibly because the onus then is on the ability to comprehend rather than just decode.

    The arguments for and against will rage on as long as phonics is continually promoted as the best method of teaching reading.
  8. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    "Proved" being the killer. Nothing is proved.
    snowyhead likes this.
  9. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Smartly done.
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Phonics can get most children to a certain standard.

    For brighter children it seems to get in the way at times as they try and spell out words rather than using context and experience to deduce pronunciation.

    I had a reading age well above my years (apparently better than most adults by age 10 - get me) but only ever had a lot of exposure to a variety of printed language at a young age. I just read all the time. It worked.
    snowyhead likes this.
  11. drek

    drek Star commenter

    I love reading. Thank God no phonics were involved. Wilts haw sounds like a PC mag. Best top 10 laptops, best top 10 notebooks.... No two PC mags ever agree on any 'best' list.
    Seems to depend on number of freebies and sponsored ads.
    Wonder what the funding behind the phonics phenomenon is.
    There has got to be a very well funded research team and political wrestling match behind this 'best'.
  12. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Never attribute to malice &c. We have the same problem in maths with these execrable things called 'number talks'. Once confined to a handful of trendy Primaries, they're now a virus which is threatening to infect Secondary.
  13. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    I was taught by phonics (as well as look and say). It worked for me. I did the same with my own off spring. It seems to have worked. I may be in a minority but I do believe phonics are useful - especially when up the creek without a paddle to decipher the letters on the page.

    There have been many things in primary education I have seen fit to bin - like " emergent writing" and that phonic alphabet that some educationalist invented in the 1960's.
  14. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

  15. Kamit

    Kamit New commenter

    It seems to be one of these things that is endlessly debated with no ground given.

    As a parent of a child who has just started school I decided to google this strange "phonics" thing we were told about when choosing a school (not that choice actually exists!). I was then sucked into a world of angry talk of "denialists" and "barking at print".
    As far as I have observed nobody denies that breaking words down into sounds is a very good reading strategy. However some people seem to imply that the ONLY possible method of teaching reading is strict adherence to a very specific structured programme.

    What these angry commentators (and often I see about the same 5 names cropping up in every discussion) don't seem to acknowledge is that the people who do a lot (most?) of the reading with a child - the parents - are completely clueless about phonics.

    All I've done with my children is sit with them every day, for 30 minutes or so from birth, and read lots of fun stories together. My daughter is one half term in to her time at school and is doing really well so far. I'm sure she'll be chalked up as a success story for the phonics revolution but the truth is she could recognise quite a few words through following my finger on the page before she started school.

    So in summary I'm happy for my children to be taught to learn to read through SP instruction at school but I believe a large proportion of how we learn to read happens outside the classroom and that we don't need to rush it.
  16. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Do children rite like vis bekoz ov foniks ?
    Methinks the ones that never use a dictionary to check their spelling probably do. Phonics is good at helping children to read but often opt to use the phonemes that are easiest when writing.
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Only if they've been taught poorly

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