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non-words

Discussion in 'Primary' started by grape-juice, May 23, 2012.

  1. I had my lovely box of Year 1 reading tests delivered earlier this week [​IMG] which are nicely double locked away in the HT's office.

    So this got me thinking. Yet again with my Year 1 and 2s today we have explored those odd words that defy all the rules. SO my question is, if I get as a non word on the reading test
    spouch, for example

    obviously I will be able to accept the pronunciation of spouch, rhyming with couch
    but will I also be able to accept it as "spuch", rhyming with touch
    in toucan, "ou" makes the "oo" sound, so technically I should be able to accept "spooch" because after all, how do we know which way the word was intended to be pronounced.

    I'm sure there may be other pronunciations of ou that I can't think of after a few glasses of grapejuice. [​IMG]
    I don't suppose for one minute the people who wrote this have managed to come up with a complete set of words that can only be pronounced one way.
     
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    any phonetically plausible version of a pseudo word is acceptable

     
  3. .

    Thank you. I was sure that had to be the case.I'm assuming that they must give you a list of"real" words they can rhyme wih in the teacher's book.
     
  4. Twinkles

    Twinkles New commenter

    You would think so, wouldn't you.....however, when we sat in a Governor's meeting last week and watched the official video, a child faced with the pseudo-word 'vead' who pronounced it to rhyme with 'bed' as in the real word 'head' rather than to rhyme with 'seed' was marked wrong! The voiceover said the child had failed to use the long vowel sound!
    I was incensed and the Governor's bewildered. No wonder less than 35% of children in the pilot study got a 'pass' mark.
    The test is bonkers!
     
  5. I've heard about the video but I haven't yet seen it. If that's the case then I totally agree, the test is bonkers. That's my worry about it. Many digraphs can be pronounced in numerous ways.
    When will Mr Gove see that barking at print is not the same as reading?

     
  6. I hope they are being checked daily for tampering! ;)
     
  7. Neither is guessing from initial letters, context or pictures. At least being able to work out what words actually 'say' is a good step on the way.
     
  8. But you can't always work out what the word says using phonics, can you? As someone said there are alternatives like 'ea' pronounced /ee/ or /e/.
     
  9. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I just looked at the sample materials, and my instinct was to read chom as "kom", so I went to the dictionary, to see what words there actually are that begin with chom. There's only chomp, but it comes between lots of chol- words (cholesterol, cholera,...) and chondrus and its derivatives. My instinct was probably unduly influenced by the amount of biology I'm learning at the moment, and most year 1s won't have met many such words, but it does illustrate the potential for reasonable alternative pronounciations.
    I'm sure they've tried to avoid obviously ambiguous spellings, but it's difficult to believe they can avoid them all.
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    If it's so bonkers why is it a component of the standard battery of tests used by Ed Psychs to detect reading difficulties?
     
  11. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

     
  12. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I don't think it's bonkers, but I think that applying it blindly might occasionally throw up some odd results. Hopefully each individual child will only come up with one or two non-standard answers, so that nobody is too badly mis-assessed.
    One would hope that an Ed Psych, hearing vead as ved, might ask why the child read it that way, or ask whether it might be pronounced another way, or try some other ea words, before concluding anything. Gove probably doesn't trust teachers to do that for reporting purposes, although hopefully teachers will do so for formative purposes.
     
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    They wouldn't ask the child during the test only record the child's response without comment
     
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Of course you are right thumbie [​IMG] an EP using non words to diagnose problems with decoding has nothing whatsoever in common with teachers using non word for early identification of possible decoding difficulties in young children so that they can be supported and don't need to be referred to an EP at a later date.

     
  15. Well, I think the teacher will be well aware of which children have genuine problems with reading in his/her class. His/her knowledge will be far more accurate and detailed than anything thrown up by the phonics check, because it will be a holistic picture of the child not just a snapshot of one aspect of the child's learning. Will you need the test to show you the strugglers in your class?
     
  16. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    What would be damaging is if children start being coached to do well in this, by parents or teachers, by being given lots of non-words to decode throughout their early years. This will implant the false idea that reading is not necessarily about communication and understanding.
    In my opinion it has to be used as a one-off, diagnostic test. Mind you, that's probably what they said about APP and SATs, and look what happened....
     

  17. It's happening widely already. What did you expect? Parents and teachers have always 'crammed'.


    How do you distinguish a non word from a real word anyway? I assume that any word I meet in my reading means something, regardless of whether or not I've seen it before.

    Why are children being taught as if meaning is distinct from the word?


    http://whelk-stall.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/ghoti.html
     
  18. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    There will be a "dominant" or "regular" pronunciation among the possible pronunciations.
    For example, "vead" - for me it would be pronounced as in "read" (present tense), on the assumption that the dominant or "regular" pronunciation of "ea" is like that in the present tense "read".

     

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