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Reading strategies: helpful or fatal for struggling beginning readers?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by gcf, May 10, 2012.

  1. gcf

    gcf

    In teaching over 100 struggling readers very precisely with SP I found that every single child had previously been bamboozled with multi-cueing strategies. Yet these and similarly distracting strategies remain in place and teachers like Thumbie believe that this is the logical way to teach beginners, along with a dose of phonics.Lots of literacy advisors, apparently, have encouraged multi-strategy teaching.
    Chucking out notes, articles, materials I came across the following ed psy advice to a very bright but dyslexia 7 year old boy, barely able to read anything beyond CVC words
    1.Encourage Independence
    encourage the child to predict storyline from the pictures
    ask the child questions and offer prompts ....
    look at the first sound.sounds
    look at the ending
    does it begin with that?
    does that make sense?
    do you remember that word?
    this word rhymes with?
    what might happen next?
    have a guess!
    let's have a look at the picture
    does that sound right?... and so on...
    2. Encourage Word Attack
    look for small, familiar words within larger words ...and so on...
    3. Encourage Attention to Meaning:
    always encourage the child to think about what is happening in the story - an initial phonic clue can always be followed up with a guess made from context.
    encourage him/her to read on, substituting the word 'something' for the unknown word, and then make a guess.... and so on....
    4. Encourage Risk-Taking:
    encourage the child to have a go!
    praise a good guess ... and so on...:
    no wonder he, and around 100,000 children a year, have so many literacy difficulties

     
  2. gcf

    gcf

    In teaching over 100 struggling readers very precisely with SP I found that every single child had previously been bamboozled with multi-cueing strategies. Yet these and similarly distracting strategies remain in place and teachers like Thumbie believe that this is the logical way to teach beginners, along with a dose of phonics.Lots of literacy advisors, apparently, have encouraged multi-strategy teaching.
    Chucking out notes, articles, materials I came across the following ed psy advice to a very bright but dyslexia 7 year old boy, barely able to read anything beyond CVC words
    1.Encourage Independence
    encourage the child to predict storyline from the pictures
    ask the child questions and offer prompts ....
    look at the first sound.sounds
    look at the ending
    does it begin with that?
    does that make sense?
    do you remember that word?
    this word rhymes with?
    what might happen next?
    have a guess!
    let's have a look at the picture
    does that sound right?... and so on...
    2. Encourage Word Attack
    look for small, familiar words within larger words ...and so on...
    3. Encourage Attention to Meaning:
    always encourage the child to think about what is happening in the story - an initial phonic clue can always be followed up with a guess made from context.
    encourage him/her to read on, substituting the word 'something' for the unknown word, and then make a guess.... and so on....
    4. Encourage Risk-Taking:
    encourage the child to have a go!
    praise a good guess ... and so on...:
    no wonder he, and around 100,000 children a year, have so many literacy difficulties

     
  3. I think a lot of those are on this list of what not to do to help a child learn to read:

    http://www.dyslexics.org.uk/what_not_to_do.htm
     
  4. gcf

    gcf

    I agree senteacher. But why are so many education advisors,and senior teachers, still wedded to these bamboozling options?
     
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Because all these are reasonable strategies and it is a good idea to try as many as possible with a child to enable them to access a text.

    I was teaching reading comprehension strategies with my class today. A child was reading part of a passage which said "Freddie scored a goal" The child got stuck on the word 'scored' and so I suggested he skipped it and read on (for a reading comprehension test this would be sensible). Once he did so and got the context, along with help from the picture he figured out the word was and reread the whole sentence correctly. He has no added another option to his list of possibles and so is able to read texts that would have been closed to him before.

    I still do teach phonics everyday and teach 'sounding out' as the primary strategy.
     
  6. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    I don't really see anything wrong with using some of these strategies, but not all in one session and not at every age level. But today I had a child read a word incorrectly and it was because it has an alternate pronunciation, technically she did sound it out correctly, but then realized that this didn't sound right and tried a different way. She did this because we have learned the strategy, does that make sense? Just wondering -if it's normal for an Ed. Psych to be involved with Dyslexic students? At my school a specific learning teacher for Dyslexia would be involved. We would also give that child a specific reading scheme and lots of other support.
     
  7. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I assume that they mean concentrate on the 4 main headings and have provided suggestions for each. I doubt they meant to do every single one each time there is an error.
     
  8. The reason I teach children to use a variety of strategies is so that they have something to fall back on when they are unable to decode a word reliably through phonics, either because they have a choice of pronunciations or because it contains GPCs they have forgotten or not yet learnt. It is to support them in reading a word they would otherwise not be able to read, and therefore access the meaning of the text. Any way of decoding or reading a word, including using context, starts a child on the journey to learning it, and increases the chances of them recognising it when they come across it again. This is the aim of learning to read, to access words and learn them so they are known instantly and automatically. I believe there is an interaction between knowledge of whole words and parts of words and knowledge of individual graphemes, and I think distinguishing between these different pieces of knowledge is a false distinction. To a child recognising 'and' as part of 'sand' is just as useful as knowing the individual grapheme correspondences and blending them. I agree with teaching the GPCs systematically. That is a good starter for children, and is certainly the route that is being resourced and supported at the moment. However, I am not convinced that SP is a sufficient strategy.I get the impression that you teach struggling children. Do you go into schools as extra support for reading? If so, you will be encountering children who have found learning phonics difficult. These children are likely to be using the other cues in preference. And yet you are concluding that children have been bamboozled by using strategies to access text as best they can instead of drawing the conclusion that these children simply have difficulties with phonics and reading in general. I don't know why you find that conclusion so unavoidable, unless you already have your mind made up about reading methods. I'm assuming you then teach the children phonics and they experience some success in decoding due to intensive support. That's great. It still does not prove that multi cueing is the big baddy. And to become truly efficient readers your pupils will have to go beyond the phonic approach you have supported them with and learn to recognise a large body of words automatically. In the end, they will need to use strategies such as context much more frequently than using their phonic knowledge, as this is what efficient readers do.In order to really judge the efficacy of the phonics-only route we would need to see a major improvement in Y6 results. SP has been around for a while without that improvement happening. The whole thing is an experiment. Meanwhile teachers are being more or less forced to concentrate very heavily on phonics, which risks a neglect of all the other elements of reading children need to master alongside decoding. This is the worst aspect of the SP craze. SP itself is pretty blameless, it's the over-emphasis that is worrying.
     
  9. To a child recognising 'and' as part of 'sand' is just as useful as knowing the individual grapheme correspondences and blending them.
    This is the real basis of success in learning to read. A relatively small sight vocabulary (range of internalised words) can contain all the grapheme/phoneme correspondes and serve as an instantly accessible reference database for the decoding of unfamiliar words. In one of my current projects which started with 63 non-reading six year olds, the resource being used is designed to secure the internalisation of just a few hundred words and the indications are that all of these children will be secure readers by the end of the project in June. Indeed, most of these children classified as non-readers in February are now secure readers. A common and unsolicited feature of their teachers' reports is 'greater self-confidence and willingness to read.'
    How can it be wrong to use an alternative route to achieve reading competence with children who are showing all the signs of becoming part of the one thing that is constant in Education which is that 20% of children will leave school every year unable to read and write confidently?
     
  10. Oh, gcf! What have you done?[​IMG]
     
  11. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    LOLOLOLOL
     
  12. Is that "Lots Of Love" or "Laugh Out Loud" ? (hint: look at context) [​IMG]
     
  13. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Definitely laughing, more of a chuckle really. Not just me who thinks 'Nooooooo! Please don't ask about phonics or spelling or reading strategies. Please, please no!'
     
  14. Exactly as we do. Never had an issue. I still can't quite get my head around those who argue against this actually.[​IMG]
     
  15. Any teacher who is experienced well enough with phonics teaching would question why a child could not decode 'scored'.
    It is much easier to decode 'scored' than to go through the rigmarole of reading on to work out 'scored' by comprehension deduction.
    The teachers who protest on here about the need to do things like recognise 'and' as being part of 'sand' - not realising that it should be a doddle (and much easier) to decode 'and' rather than need to look for a sideways step of thinking of another word with the same letters to take off the first letter/sound to work out what the last part of the word 'sand' is to achieve the focus word is, is, arguably, an inexperienced phonics teacher - or lacking in common sense.
     
  16. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Not for this child it wasn't. And reading on two words further is hardly a rigmarole.
     
  17. That's exactly my point. I believe you are a Year Two teacher - so why is a Year Two child unable to decode the word 'scored' and why would you, as a Year Two teacher, not understand that it is not hard to teach the decoding of the word 'scored'?
    This becomes a self-fulfilling scenario - you are giving the impression that you do not wholly understand the synthetic phonics teaching principles (for reading and for spelling) and therefore you are not committed nor convinced by them.
    Perhaps you should be considering whether it is in the long-term interests of young learners to be taught a comprehensive alphabetic code knowledge and proficient blending and segmenting skills as these are the skills even of adult proficient readers and spellers - rather than looking to use a range of reading strategies which are taking children away from decoding words and taking their eyes off the word - and which are generally convoluting and often inaccurate.
    As for context helping with whether a grapheme within a word is code for one sound or an alternative sound, of course this is helpful and necessary - but that is not the same as using comprehension and context to 'get' the word in the first place.
    The bottom line is, also, that research does not support the teaching of multi-cueing reading strategies when these amount to a lot of guessing (or predicting - call it what you will).
     
  18. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I honestly think you are being incredibly rude. You have no idea of the phonics ability of the child concerned, nor my ability to teach it. Nor do you know what phonics teaching has been experienced by this child in nursery, reception and year 1. Just because people disagree with you, it does not follow that they don't understand.

    This child, on this day, chose to use a strategy to read a word that was not decoding. That should not immediately call into question the entire phonics teaching in my class nor my school. I wrote somewhere or other that we do teach decoding as the primary strategy, but also teach others as well. It does not need to be either or.
     
  19. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I think it is based more on a very narrow (and inaccurate) view on what it means to read.
     
  20. I just thought that needed repeating!
     

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