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Reading Recovery...

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by kenadams777, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. My experience as an adult is that I use analogy to read new words, I certainly don't sound out phoneme by phoneme.
  2. I don't use Jolly Phonics. Possibly Sue Lloyd would do some things differently if she wrote it today.
    Sue Lloyd was recently involved in writing the RRF's 'Simple criteria for evaluating and selecting a synthetic phonics reading and spelling programme'

    5. Work at the level of the individual sound/phoneme (that is the
    smallest single identifiable sound in speech) and NOT larger
    chunks of words
  3. But it wouldn't be a route to discovering phonemes because it would bypass that process. I can't see much difference between using 'at' as a unit in word building and using digraphs and trigraphs such as /ai/ or /ee/.
    Of course, using synthetic phonics you would still have to break the word at some point- how does synthetic phonics show you where to break it up? That 'wate' especially is going to cause problems. But it helps a lot if you know the word 'water' already and spot it in there.
    How do you decode 'water' using SP?
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Perhaps she would and perhaps Diane McGuinness would revise her statement too. Young children often use rime especially when experimenting with writing. I often found the white board covered in the cat - bat- rat - mat - hat type lists generated totally independently by reception children ...would - could - should often feature
  5. In terms of teaching the children, it is best to have consistency. There is no need to teach the separate elements 'c' 'a' t' and then also teach 'at'. This does not mean the teacher cannot teach about rhyming words. However, rhyming words are best taught through an oral route - that is the end of the words sound the same.
    If you teach with synthetic phonics teaching you already have a very large number of letter/s-sound correspondences to teach - nearly two hundred for a comprehensive alphabetic code.
    If you start looking at onset and rime units of sound, you have so many more.
    The beauty of synthetic phonics teaching is its simplicity of focus on teaching the elements of the alphabetic code (knowledge) from print to sound for reading and from sound to print for spelling - and the three core skills of blending all-through-the-word, segmenting all-through-the-spoken-word and handwriting.
    If you focus on onset and rime and consonant clusters, it is much more difficult to be consistent about what to identify in the printed word from left to right, and what to identify of the 'sounds' in the spoken word from beginning to end.
    If you start looking for words within words, this is very distracting and often leads to disaster. Just look at a simple word like 'father', would this be viewed with 'at' or 'fat' in it, and 'her'? We need the reader to scan to see the 'th' together as the focus unit - not little words within the word.
    With reading experience and more challenging material, readers do begin to note compound words such as 'handbag'. But, they do not need to look for any syllabic 'break' per se. This may well be obvious to them as they glance at the word because of their, by then, reading experience. I have also witnessed many children just whizz through longer words sounding out the whole word and 'hearing' it because it is in their oral vocabulary.
    Noticing compound words - and even word chunks such as 'ing' and 'tion' etc, is not the same, however, as 'looking for words within words'.
    Spelling becomes a word chunk issue for the more experienced speller but this does not mean that 'teaching' the children by a synthetic phonics route is therefore not the best one. Syllable chunking is probably what we do as experienced spellers - for example, I think hos-pi-tal every time I write the word or an-i-mal.
    But this does not mean that I think it is a good idea to slip some extra teaching into my SP programme to teach 'an' and 'mal' as units of sound. This would be a logistical and unnecessary thing to do - diluting and distracting from my SP programme.
    So, whilst children maybe have fun making up words such as 'rat', 'cat', 'hat' and so on - and whilst we, as adults, can see word chunks and readily work out new words from the chunks, these things do not automatically mean we should dally with a bit of this method and a bit of that method.
    There is so much alphabetic code to teach and so much learning that needs to be focused on remembering spelling word banks - and all those idiosyncratic words - that it is folly to get too side-tracked.
  6. But a lot of children will read father as fat her when decoding it using phonics, then you have to point out the th to support them. Focusing on the /th/ as soon as looking at the word is really just the same as focusing on the 'in' when you look at tin, it is, in effect, looking at a chunk of the word. I know we teach chunks and call them digraphs and trigraphs, what I'm saying is that that is really not different from teaching other chunks (common syllables), they work just as consistently. OK so you might get stuck on 'father', but on the other hand you might notice the 'ther' and it will remind you of 'there'. There are so many ways to make sense of words, why stick to one so exclusively? Some digraphs and trigraphs have so many possible phonemes that it is a mammoth task to go through them all in search of a word, and in this case sometimes using analogy can provide a short cut, and make the word more accessible.
  7. Let's just say that some children read 'father' as 'fat' 'her' even with a SP approach - that would suggest that they are not yet alert enough to notice the 'th'. This would tell the teacher that he or she needs to place more emphasis on both teaching 'th' discretely, and then providing printed words with 'th' and conducting activities such as grapheme searches prior to the reading of the words.
    It would not mean the teacher justifies teaching the strategy to 'look for words within words' because children are doing that by default.
    Looking for words within words is very different from noting common word chunks when children are dealing regularly with longer words such as 'station' and 'walking'.
  8. gcf


    While you have put the case persuasively for some reading by analogy, Thumbie, I've found that concentrating on reading-through-the-word, phoneme by phoneme prevents child from darting around the word looking for a 'crutch', desperately searching for other strategies.
    Although the evidence is anecdotal , this focus does seem to strengthen eye muscles and certainly helps children to be more focused while they are making sense of the alphabetic code.
    I speak as someone who spent hundreds of hours producing eye-catching worksheets for 'onset and rime' etc. After studying SP, and seeing how much more effective it was, I chucked away the worksheets.
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I am not suggesting that we should teach using onset and rime only that for some children it seems to be a natural progression when they are confident blending words they experiment in this way independently.
  10. I don't see the difference between conducting grapheme searches and conducting searches for other recognised units within words. Both are helpful, neither is a foolproof method of decoding. As pointed out by others, children seem to start doing this for themselves once they have built up a basic reading vocabulary.
    Somebody mentioned looking at word banks to help reading more complex and rare grapheme phoneme correspondences. Doing this is in fact learning by analogy, recognising the patterns in word groups and extrapolating from familiar words (eg walk) to unfamiliar words (eg stalk).
  11. Then what happens when the child comes across a word like outhouse?[​IMG]
  12. If English was a phonologically consistent language (not sure if that is quite the right terminology, but hopefully you get my drift) , learning to read through SP would be the obvious and easiest way to go. However, English is a frustratingly complex language, and, as you point out, if you are going to read every new word using letter/sound correspondences you have to first know nearly 200 of them, and on top of that you have to plump for choices when graphemes and units of graphemes can represent multiple phonemes. Extra support is needed, and analogy from known words is just extra support which some find useful. I doubt if children distinguish between a trigraph and a rime, so why should we (for practical purposes).
    I don't see how this is simplicity when you have to have knowledge of nearly 200 correspondences and then sometimes choose between them to decode a word. I don't believe children actually work like this either. They bring a lot more to the task of reading. Even small children decoding simple CVC words, will sound out and then not believe the word they have made because they don't recognise it from their known vocabulary. The sounding out is accurate but the child is looking for meaning because they are reading a book or story which they expect to have meaning.
    Oops, am I starting a whole new argument?

  13. If they decode it as 'ou' 'th' 'ouse' they will be mighty puzzled as it is a word they have never encountered before! They will then ask what it means (because their teacher has always encouraged them to find out the meanings of 'new' words if they are not in their oral vocabulary...) When whoever the child has asked sees the word they will correct the error and the child will have learned that it's as well to try 'th' in the middle of a word both as /th/ and /t/ /h/ in the future! [​IMG]

    I can see a world of difference between 1) a child developing their own onset & rime type strategies and 2) deliberately teaching them.
    In the former case: a)you really can't prevent a child doing this and b) if it helps them to read efficiently and effectively then it is absolutely fine.
    In the latter case:a) I would agree with Debbie that it is a waste of valuable teaching time when sounding out and blending all through the word is a sufficient strategy and b) teaching chunks does not seem to help the most vulnerable children (i.e.vulnerable to teaching method) as they seem to lose the flexibility of approach that the need to 'try alternatives' promotes and they have, in my experience, a tendency to produce the 'chunk' they have learned in response to any letter cluster which vaguely resembles it. They may also add a 'sound' which commonly precedes a discrete 'chunk' but doesn't always do so.

    The bane of my life is 'tion' taught as a 'chunk'; it is so often preceded by 'a' that children see 'tion' but say 'ation'. 'Proportion' generally comes out as 'proporation' [​IMG] Now, funnily enough these are children who have not had rigorous synthetic phonics instruction but have had bits an pieces of 'everything' thrown at them....
  14. Working it out by analogy won't help them either in this case! I don't see any logic in your proposition.
  15. As I said, maybe it's a whole new argument!
    Just making an observation, maizie, about the way children approach the task even when teachers work with the belief that SP can do it all for them.
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    outhouse is a compound word and would be taught that way
    We do lots of early aural work in nursery with compound words lady +bird = ladybird
    foot + ball = football car + park = carpark
  17. Too flipping right it is[​IMG] Now you are getting into the 'synthetic phonics doesn't teach children to read for meaning' twaddle.
    You have introduced a completelydifferent concept here, that of 'meaning' rather than the word attack
    strategies which were being discussed. Neither SP nor onset and rime
    will lead a child to 'meaning' if a word is not in their oral vocabulary, so why start a red herring?
    Will you please clarify exactly what you mean by a ' belief that SP can do it all' .

  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    should say it is phase 3 L&S if you use it
  19. Yes but would the child have any way of knowing this when they first come across the word? Are there any rules for recognising compound words? Apart from looking for small words within words and as was pointed out earlier this doesn't work with father.
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Well phase 3 is taught pretty early in reception so I would hope they would cope with it in the unlikely event they are reading about outhouses without adult support.

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