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Teachers views towards Systematic Synthetic Phonics

Discussion in 'Primary' started by tomjoyce, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    34. ... all beginner readers have to come to terms with the same alphabetic principles if they are to learn to read and write. Moreover, leading edge practice bears no resemblance to a one size fits all model of teaching and learning, nor does it promote boringly dull, rote learning of phonics.

    46. ... it is generally accepted that it is harder to learn to read and write in English because the relationship between sounds and letters is more complex than in many other alphabetic languages. It is therefore crucial to teach phonic work systematically, regularly and explicitly because children are highly unlikely to work out this relationship for themselves. It cannot be left to chance ...

    49. ... children may appear, some would say, to be ‘barking at print' without fully understanding what they are reading. Although this is often levelled as a criticism of phonic work, such behaviour is usually transitional as children hone their phonic skills.

    51. ... the case for systematic phonic work is overwhelming and much strengthened by a synthetic approach, the key features of which are to teach beginner readers:
    grapheme/phoneme (letter/sound) correspondences (the alphabetic principle) in a clearly defined, incremental sequence
    to apply the highly important skill of blending (synthesizing) phonemes in order, all through a word to read it
    to apply the skills of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell
    that blending and segmenting are reversible processes.

    57. A common feature of the best work was that boys progress and achievement did not lag behind that of the girls ...

    58. The multi-sensory work showed that children generally bring to bear on the learning tasks as many of their senses as they can, rather than limit themselves to one sensory pathway.

    89. ... there is ample evidence to support the recommendation of the interim report that, for most children, it is highly worthwhile and appropriate to begin a systematic programme of phonic work by the age of five, if not before for some children ...

    99. An early start on systematic phonic work is especially important for those children who do not have the advantages of strong support for literacy at home.

    104. Important, too, is the boost to children's confidence, self belief and attitudes to reading that is apparent when early phonic work is taught successfully within a language-rich curriculum.

    113. ... phonic work is a body of knowledge, skills and understanding that quite simply has to be taught and learned.

    115. ... the searchlights model does not best reflect how a beginner reader progresses to become a skilled reader.

    116. ... skilled readers do not rely upon strategies to read words, as they have already developed the skill of word recognition [through a phonic route]. They may use knowledge of context and grammar, which are conceived within the searchlight model, to assist their understanding of the text but, crucially, they would still be able to decode the words if all contextual and grammatical prompts were removed.

    117. ... if beginner readers, for example, are encouraged to infer from the pictures the word they have to decode this may lead to their not realising that they need to focus on the printed word. They may, therefore, not use their developing phonic knowledge. It may also lead to diluting the focused phonics teaching that is necessary for securing accurate word reading.

    118. ... While the full range of strategies is used by fluent readers, beginning readers need to learn how to decode effortlessly, using their knowledge of letter-sound correspondences and the skills of blending the sounds together.

    228. The lessons judged by HMI to be at least good (and, occasionally, outstanding) were characterized by:
    clear objectives
    consolidation and revision of previously taught phonic knowledge and skills
    multi-sensory approaches to support learning
    clearly directed questioning, very good assessment, feedback and praise
    a good, often, brisk, pace to the teaching and learning, unhindered by extraneous activities which often slow the pace of the lesson and waste valuable lesson time
    efficient organisation and management
    opportunities for children to work in pairs
    adults excellent knowledge of the phonic content to be taught and their skills in teaching it, including clear and precise pronunciation of the phonemes

    236. Children who had been taught, at an early stage, to blend the sounds in words were able to apply their phonic knowledge to tackle words they had not seen before. In this example, a child in Year 1 with English as an additional language read a book from a commercial scheme. HMI wrote:
    She reads at a steady if not entirely fluent pace. She blends sounds confidently and is not put off by words which would be very challenging for many pupils in the first half-term of Year 1. ... She is unafraid of tackling fairly complex words she has not seen before. ...

    237. In contrast, in the schools which did not emphasise sufficiently the skills of blending sounds, children were not able to apply the phonic knowledge they had learnt. ... In this example, an average-attaining boy in Year 1, with English as his first language, attempted to read his reading book from a commercial scheme. HMI wrote:
    This pupil knows the letter-sound correspondences for most of the 26 letters of the alphabet, but he reads by a whole word method. Occasionally he tries to use his phonic knowledge too, but he rushes at words, using his knowledge of the first letter only. For example, he reads ‘was' instead of ‘went'. At times he leaves words out and continues from memory without self-correcting, to the extent that at one point he read ‘it' for ‘everyone'. He does not know vowel digraphs; when asked what sound ‘oo' makes in ‘pool', he says ‘o', even though he has just read pool correctly (presumably by using the pictures or the context).

  2. This isn't anything to do with using picture and initial letter clues. Phonics is for decoding, skill in phonics does not ensure reading, hence the hoohaa about the phonics check - ie "it doesn't matter if they are nonsense words as it's only decoding". With spelling, you can only have plausible spelling if you use phonics, correct spellings demands that you know which words use which of the range of possible letter/s.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    How strange that my pupils (and those in other year groups) taught only with phonics can read and spell
  4. We keep coming back to that. However, there are three points1. You seem to use the word 'phonics' extremely loosely.2. if your assertion is to mean anything you need to prove that there are no other factors in your success - that's extremely difficult to do in the best of circumstances and I can't see how you can do it on an Internet forum.3. Your school is one school. If you get great results which you ascribe to the use of SSP (or in fact LP -making the whole argument even more unstable) it needs to be replicated elsewhere with control groups etc. to convince. So perhaps we should wait for the results of your longitudinal study, just to show a modicum of respect to scientific methodology. Logic and reasoning also deserve respect.
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    is thatin contrast to your extremely narrow definition thumbie?
    what factors do you imagine would influence that success other than motivated children and a sensible programme
    There are a number of schools posting about their success too thumbie
    but of course you will dismiss any claims as they doesn't suit your view

  6. From which (see bolded sentence) I inferred that you think a poor vocabulary hinders the teaching of reading.
    Or did you just mean that a poor vocabulary means that children cannot learn to read with phonics instruction.
    I'd appreciate it if you could clarify this for me.
    I will then tell you what I have actually maintained all along about the children I work with, not your rather misleading interpretation of what I have said.

  7. You put a scrap of information about one school, where SSP isn't even taught, and try to use it as proof for the power of SSP teaching, and expect to be taken seriously! And all this despite the logic and reasoning stacked against your claims. Nevertheless I haven't dismissed you, have I? I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt Msz. Please post those research results when they become available.
  8. maizie, if a child of 11 has a poor vocabulary, 5 years behind his/her chronological age, there is reason to believe that that child has difficulties learning. That difficulty could be a social difficulty ie the child has not been exposed to a developed vocabulary, or some other learning difficulty. Whatever, it will make reading difficult because the child will not understand what s/he is reading unless it contains a very restricted vocabulary, and will have an impact on all classroom activities including learning phonics. Have you heard of the Matthew Effect?
  9. Your first surmise is a possibility, but I tend to favour the second. I suggest that you look at the Hart & Risley research
    Try this:
    Or take your pick from the google search results:
    I find it absolutely stunning that you should think that poor vocabulary indicates an inability to learn. Do you regard all your children in that sort of light? If they have been well socialised and articulate they are able to learn but if they have poor vocabulary skills they probably have a learning difficulty?
    No wonder you think I am naive/clueless about the initial teaching of reading. I think that we are not only on completely different wavelengths, we're on completely different planets...
  10. edited to remove superfluous message
    This pre moderation is a real pain...
  11. I said, 'reason to believe'. Would you regard having such delayed language skills as unworthy of consideration and learning support? The poor vocabulary in itself represents a learning difficulty. I'm rather pleased I am on a different wavelength from you Maizie, and have been aware of it for a good long time.
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Sorry did I miss the logic and reasoning ...perhaps it was when I boiled the kettle
  13. In addition I have just looked at your links, which say exactly what would be expected, and my position: ie that poor vocabulary constitutes a barrier to learning. One of the differences between us, apparently, is that I read others' posts and respond to them and you just go off on one. Strangely Msz is the same as you in that respect.
  14. It is not at all easy to develop an extensive vocabularyif you are not exposed to an extensive vocabulary. Have you not looked at any thing to do with Hart & Risley's study?
    It is also, according to Stanovich, through reading that a child/person is exposed to the most extensive vocabulary. Do you not think that these children are mostly victims of both deficits? Limited vocabulary in the home and inability to read well enough to be exposed to a rich vocabulary?
    Of course, if poor vocabulary is seen as an excuse for not teaching children to read effectively (because they 'can't learn') they'll never get the chance to benefit from the second despite their home circumstances. Particularly hard on the children if their teacher thinks they are too cognitively challenged to learn to read...
  15. Oh good grief. Read my posts, for instance go back to post 366. On second thoughts, don't go back, you might get lost, here it is:
    This time, read it please.
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    thumbie just to put your mind at rest I do read all your replies but often they seems to merge into one big denial or you choose to interpret what others say in a way that is the polar opposite to what has been said. It's a real talent.
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    thumbie when you are reading to/with a child do you never come across words they don't understand?
  18. Can you cite an occasion on which I have misinterpreted what you have said into its polar opposite, please, and tell me what I have misunderstood? That way argument can proceed - ie by pointing out misunderstanding and re-stating positions where this has happened. Even the most careful explanation can be misunderstood. As for my being a 'denier', I would have thought a denier would be a person with no arguments, just someone having a great big 'You're wrong, you're always wrong' tantrum. Can you cite examples of that sort of behaviour from me, please? It seems to describe your responses rather than mine - look at this one:
    As you have managed to reduce this discussion to personal stuff like that, it really is time I stopped wasting my time on it. I'll keep an eye to see if any sensible comments come up.
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    or you storm off claiming personal affront
  20. Come off it. You and I both know that I stay and argue, and argue, and argue .......for as long as others are making points, even feeble points.

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