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Discussion in 'Primary' started by liadh86, Jan 23, 2012.
Do you use RWI phonics for explicitly teaching reading, spelling or both at the same time?
I no longer teach, but over the past 15 years I have been investigating how reading and writing difficulties correlate with the inconsistencies of English spelling. Learning to spell English is far more difficult than learning to read. (Look at my website www.EnglishSpellingProblems.co.uk and blogs if u are interested in the reasons for it.)I would therefore suggest that for children who struggle with reading, it is initially best to concentrate predominantly on reading. They can benefit from exercises which involve some writing, such as picking the right word from a list and writing it into a gap, but free writing is likely to confuse them. In other words, different children need to be treated differently, according to their abilities and progress.
If RWI Phonics is implemented according to the handbook it teaches reading, writing, and spelling all at the same time. However, children should progress through the scheme at the rate of their reading, and be off the phonics scheme and onto the spelling and comprehension packages by the time they are approximately a 2a/3c in reading (the phonics handbook has a placement test - as I understand it 2a/3c readers should be able to get to the end of it with no difficulty and not be on the phonics package).
The placement test says, for a child who does not need RWI phonics "can read most B - J real words without sound blending". The J words are the hardest, examples include:
complaint, holiday, yesterday, operate, delight, decide, provoke, pollute, pronounce, prepare, argue, surround, annoy, addition, suspicious
I can see that
holiday, operate are tricky because of missing double consonants (cf. holy holly, open copper)
pollute, surround, annoy, addition because of their misleading surplus doublings
(cf. pollen, slurry, annual, adder),
complaint, decide, provoke, pronounce, prepare, argue, suspicious
and even yesterday, delight,
follow the main spelling patterns and involve merely decoding and blending.
(They would be much better for testing children's phonic knowledge than the planned tests with nonsense words.)