1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Sensible approach to literacy teaching

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mashabell, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm afraid the ability to memorise/read your lists would not be enough for a child to achieve level 2 in KS1 never mind level 4 at KS2 masha
     
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    That is also the problem I have believing Eddie's ideas would be any real use. Memorising the 'look' of a thousand or more words will not mean any child is now a fluent reader, writer or speller. It certainly won't ensure they can comprehend or create texts.

    Poor readers at KS1, tend to simply be poor decoders. Poor readers at KS2 can often decode, but have trouble comprehending. Sight reading words won't help. (Phonics alone won't help either, but most schools will take a more rounded approach to teaching.)
     
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Which was my point a few pages ago
    yes you do find poor readers who can spellbecause they've learnt the lists ... can't use them meaningfully however
     
  4. I'm afraid the ability to memorise/read your lists would not be enough for a child to achieve level 2 in KS1 never mind level 4 at KS2
    I don't know where the idea comes from that I require children to learn 'lists of words' - that is the very opposite of the approach I use. All the children will be doing is 'reading' stories and nothing else. Word lists, word banks and nonsense words without meaning are the stuff of synthetic phonics.
    These will be children classified as being non or near-non readers already failed by SP approaches but in these cases, their teachers have not given up on them.. There is absolutely no 'evidence' or logic to suggest that the ability to acquire skills is limited by IQ - none whatsoever. Have you ever watched snooker or boxing on TV and seen the skills levels acquired? Do you suggest that Wane Rooney - one of the word's highest paid and most skillful footballers in the world is an intellectual giant? I'm afraid we are moving gradually from the sublime to the ridiculous. What is being suggested her is that IQ is a factor in the ability to acquire skills - and that suggestion is being made by teachers!
    The level of reading skiill required to be able to read at Level 5 at KS2 is not in fact very high. In my last project some of my pupils predicted to achieve L3 achieved L5 entirely without the use of phonics, synthetic or analytic.
    I suspect that if every school in my current progress rants and raves about how the children's reading suddently improved, SP enthusiats will find some way of rationalising it. It is reposnses like these which throw logic to the wind which makes me despair.
    I suspect that some posters have already given up on many children - they appear to classify them in some way as not being capable of becoming a good reader. There are certainly some teachers whose expectations are very low and that is definitely one factor in our atrocious literacy standards.
    I'm afraid we have reached the bottom the pit. Good night!
     
  5. Someone said that in KS1 the failure is one of decoding, and in KS2 it's more likely to be a failure of comprehension. From my experience of analysing SATS papers and results I note that at KS1 children can fail to get a level 2 by failing to read for meaning. They cannot answer the questions because while they can read the questions word for word, they do not understand them well enough to answer them. The questions generally only require that children read the text, find the relevant bit and extract a word or words which answer the question, but despite decoding correctly, some children can't do it - a failure of understanding, not always decoding (I would stress this is not all children, some can't read at all).At KS 2 children are generally better at answering simple recall questions but fail when asked questions that require them to interpret, or 'read between the lines'.In short, being able to decode does not guarantee understanding of texts. Therefore, while SP is useful as a teaching strategy to support children in reading words, it is not sufficient when it comes to reading and understanding texts. I know you will reply that they will not be able to read texts without reading words, and I agree, but children have to develop an ability to read texts, for meaning, concurrently with reading words accurately. This is vitally important for children's enjoyment of reading and their motivation to read. If they are not trying to get meaning from their reading it is a basic mechanical act. They might get a sense of achievement from their ability to be accurate but this is a minor enjoyment beside the enjoyment of using reading to find out or to follow a story. By KS3 the reading needs to, automatically, be used for finding meaning.
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    This is not entirely correct. All the children would have had a good grounding in phonics from year 1-5 and then followed your programme, purely as an intervention over and above their normal literacy teaching in year 6.

    No-one here who is a teacher with their own class currently in school has made any such suggestion. The problem you have really is that we HAVEN'T given up on our children or on our ability to teach them. That we do believe that good and targeted teaching is probably all that is needed for these children to make good progress. That they are not yet consigned to the rubbish bin of illiteracy in our minds and so we are not desperate to find something, however untried, to do with them.
     
  7. The national stats iindicate that SPO is having no effect on raising reading standards- none whatsoever. Anyohne who read the recent report on the KS2 literacy standards will be in no doubt about that.
    'Reading needs to be automatic - that is central to the reading process - in fact it needs to a reflex reaction to text and that is the hallmark of any skill ie that it is effected without cognitive involvment - that is why skills are not constrained by IQ. When reading is a reflex reaction to text - the brain is free to assimilate (and enjoy and be motivatged by) the intellectual content of the text. As long a a child is decoding text, the brain is preoccupied and cannot assimilate the intellectual content of text.
     
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    not you but the originator of this thread ... masha is the queen of word lists
    then you don't know how phonics is taught ...as that couldn't be further from the truth.
    yet in another post you said you don't know how these children have been taught previously ... perhaps it would be useful to look at why they have failed in the past and what other iterventions the school is using alongside y
    our method as far as I know only one poster assigned these children to the dustbin of illiteracy ..
     
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    the national stats also indicate that only 27% of schools (or less) are actually teaching phonics correctly although the rest claim to be doing so while teaching word lists per the searchlight method
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  11. I've seen research that suggests just about everything you can imagine including the fact that the earth is flat. Every government 'initiative' in the past six decades has been supported by so-called 'evidence' that suggests whatever is the current initiative. I prefer 'proof' to 'evidence'
    Everything comes down to how individual teachers define reading. SP enthusiats perceive decoding as the core mechansim of retrieving the intellectual content of text. I don't. when I listen to poor Y6 readers trying to read, I can hear that they are not actually trying to read, they are trying to decode and their efforts are stilted, monotonous and painful. The SP approach has ensured that they have no alternative but to try to decode. It is sheer joy to listen to the same children a couple of months later when they have been weaned off their decoding training and focusing instead on reading it. Their reading becomes fluent and with all the correct emphasis and tonal variations. in my book, that constitutes proof positive.
    Cherry-picking available research to prove something is always pointless. Whent he wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were started, there was evidence to suggest that they would be over quickly and now, a decade and thousands of lives later . . . . . Looking for proofs is more productive because proof is a repeatable experiment. You don't have to use the fall back position of claiming that your approach didnt work because the teachers were useless. If the approach doesnt work its because the approach is useless.
    SP, like all of the previous literacy fashions is manifestly not working. There is no 'evidence' to 'suggest that it is - there is objective and verifiable proof positive in the annual literacy data that it is not. Level 3 reading is not good enough for any child to exploit the opportunities of a secondary school education. Level 4 is only just adequate for this purpose. What is needed is Level 5 for most children and L5 is achievable once teachers start asking themselves, 'Where is the proof ths SP works? There is no proof that it works and plenty of objective proof that itg doesnt.
    It is not good enough for teahers to put children in boxes marked 'low attainer' and claim this as the reason for poor reading skills - skills acquisiton is wholly independent of academic attainment potential - the thickest kids can acquire driving and many other demanding skills. Any child with an IQ in excess of 75 can acquire reading skills to L4 standard unless there is some other physical or psychological barrier. Teachers who do not expect all of their pupils to be able to learn to read.cease being teachers and become child minders..
     
  12. the national stats also indicate that only 27% of schools (or less) are actually teaching phonics correctly
    If more than a quarter of schools are teaching SP correctly, why is this fact not reflected in national literacy statistics. This fact alone should mean that the 80% who normally achieve L4/5 should increase by a quarter to 85%. If such were required, it rather suggests that SP is having no effect on literacy standards, does it not?
    But of course there are none to so blind as those that will not see!
    QED
     
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    400 plus years of history suggests phonics worked before we imported whole word methods from the US ...
    It is quite insulting of you to suggest that is what teachers do ... in fact what happens is teachers recognise these children are low attainers and put strategies in place and working damn hard to ensure they don't get left behind.

     
  14. The children who have been taught letters and sounds from
    Reception onwards won't sit their ks2 sats until 2014.
    Eldest DD is v bright, read from age 3 and didn't use letters and sounds at school. She's a fluent reader, already level 5 at year 5. Youngest showed less interest in books and language than eldest, just started school, and I can not stop her reading everything and anything, (I've had to hide the Sunday supplement as some things are just not appropriate) not only is she decoding but she's understanding too and asking questions about the texts she reads. After 12 weeks of good sp teaching. Her progress has blown my mind!
    Its confirmed for me what I long suspected. With the right precursors sp is an excellent tool for teaching early reading skills. It isn't the only tool but it's great for getting most children started.
    My mum was an infant teacher for 35 years and I've been one for almost 20, my husband for 20 years too. When my daughter picked up and read the instruction booklet for her toys on Christmas day using a mixture of phonic decoding skills and tricky word recognition, we were all blown away.
    I'm looking forward to seeing those 2014 sats results, but from my personal experience as a teacher and parent I know that good sp teaching makes a huge difference.
     
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    perhaps because they have not been teaching phonics correctly for long enough for the effect to filter through to Y6 ...
    http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/reading-six-how-best-schools-do-it
    yes I can see that
     
  16. We have to wait until 2014 to get the results of the first cohort to be taught using letters and sounds.
    As a teacher with a daughter who missed it by 1 year I was disappointed that my child wasn't taught that way because I saw what a difference it made to the children I taught. Eldest was already reading when she started school but I think it would have made decoding even easier for her.
    Let's wait until 2014 until we make a judgement.
     
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    unfortunately it isn't quite that simple as many schools don't use L&S (I don't) and many who do use it now didn't use it from the onset and then other schools have been using phonics long before L&S was published.

    "Findings
    Phonics delivery
    •
    Almost three quarters of respondents to the first school survey stated that, prior to piloting the Phonics Screening Check, they encouraged pupils to use a range of cueing systems as well as phonics. About two thirds taught phonics in discrete sessions and sometimes integrated phonics into other work, whilst just under a third always taught phonics in discrete sessions".

    DFE-RB159
    ISBN 978-1-78105-000-2
    September 2011
     
  18. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I'm so pleased you aren't also setting up a maths intervention.
     
  19. I'm aware of the variables. I used to work as an advisor supporting various schools. I'd say in the LA where I worked about half the schools (which I visited) were using letters and sounds as it should be used, some were using other phonics programmed very effectively and some were ploughing on with their own ideas regardless.
     
  20. There has been no significant change in the percentage of children achieving Level 4/5 English since the NC tests began and the 80% average of these is precisely the same as was recorded in 1939 when all men were conscipted in the forces underwent literacy tests. Now in 2011, precisely the same number of children are failing to learn to read and write confidently at age 11 and then leaving school illiterate at age 16.
    At what point do we begin to ask the question "If SP is the answer to our atrocious literacy situation, why is it having no impact on these statistic? Even those who obviously must have a very poor grasp of maths must know that if any proportion of schools are adopting an effective teaching strategy, that would be reflected in the publiched data but the published data shows no significant improvement. SP in its pressent form has been in general use now for over a decade.
     

Share This Page