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What to say when Parents say their child doesn't learn phonetically

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Dalian Daisy, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Agreed.
    And Msz I didn't explain myself that well did I !![​IMG]
    No, what I meant was they do now teach phonics (but this is still in its early days at this school) but there isn't much reading linked to the phonics they are teaching, there's nothing like the pace you describe in your teaching at getting through all the sounds, and then once they are early readers there isn't much reading!!
    It's scary reading on these forums the pace at which other schools progress through Letters and Sounds phases or equivalent commercial schemes as I know that with vast chunks of children at my children's school the pace is snail-like by comparison ....... and it's a middle class school in a very expensive area, low special needs, low FSM etc etc.
     
  2. The reading process has a skills component (decoding) and an intellectual component (comprehension) Phonics teaching deals exclusively with the skills component Children entering Year 4 will have had two years of phonics instruction in nursery classes followed by a further three years of such instruction in mainstream classes but in spite of this five years of phonics, about one fifth of them fail to acquire competence in decoding skills. How can it make sense to continue with a strategy which is succeeding only in putting children off reading for life, particulary when there are other successful strategies readily available?
     
  3. I'm not at all convinced that it is usual for children to have had five years of good synthetic phonics teaching by the time that they arrive in Year 4.
    Discussions and observations of synthetic phonics teaching can show that even when teachers think they are providing this type of teaching with some rigour, they're not really.
     
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    It has been much more common in the past that phonics ended after reception or after they knew the "basics".However I'm not sure where the idea that phonics is taught in isolation has come from. As Eddie says decoding ( & encoding) are skills but surely no one believes teachers teach a child how to read the words without teaching the meaning of what is read [​IMG] or how to spell words without teaching how to form letters and compose sentences ...
     
  5. I'm not sure where the evidence is for the assertion that this (overlong phonics instruction)is 'putting children off reading for life'. I would join Debbie and Msz in being surprised at the idea of phonics even being taught for 5 years.
    In my experience it is the inability to work out what the words 'say' which puts children off reading.

     
  6. It is quite common for supporters of synthetic phonics when one fifth of children fail to acquire literacy skills. to claim that it was the 'wrong kind of phonics' That argument is difficult to sustain when the courses are increasingly standardised in programmes such as Jolly Phonics and a high proportion of children still fail to acquire decoding competence. No-one with any significant practical experience in this field challenges the appropriateness of synthetic phonics as an initial teaching strategy. It is however, a very simple matter to show that it is less successful as a remedial strategy with failed readers in Years 4, 5 and 6. I am currently engaged in a practical research project with some 200 schools reached via another thread on this forum which is targeting children in Years 4, 5 and 6 using a strategy which has no phonics components whatsoever. I anticipate that the numbers of children achieving Level 5 English in these schools in the 2011 Key Stage 2 test will increase by 100% over that which they predicted. I have seen no phonics strategy which comes even close to matching this level of achievement.
     
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    That would be great as it would give us over 100%![​IMG]
     
  8. The mind blowing statistic here is that the achievement of Level 5 English varies between 0% and 100% which rather challenges the notion that IQ is a major factor in KS 2 outcomes. In 69 schools, not one child achieved L5 English in the 2010 KS 2 tests. The indisputable reality is that the acquisition of any skill is entirely independent of IQ - a fact which means that virtually all children could acquire the standard of competence in literacy skills necessary to achieve Level 5 English. One school which I am working closely with which is committed to synthetic phonics predicts that 22 of their 60 pupils with achieve L5 English in 2011 - I predict that around 50 of their 60 pupils will in fact achieve L5. I see no evidence that this could be achieved by the use of synthetic phonics.

     
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm not suggesting for a minute that phonics alone will magically turn children into Level 5 achievers but as part of high quality literacy teaching they have a better chance of getting level 5 than if they had never been taught to decode ...
     
  10. It goes without saying that children must learn to decode text. What is in debate is HOW they acquire this knowledge. Personally, I and most of my contemporaries were never taught phonics but nevertheless learned to read. There are indisuputably a proportion of children for whom formal lessons in phoneme/grapheme correspondences do not appear to be productive. The approach I am currently researching has no phonics components. One participant who has just started using the strategy on Monday posted this message of the thread 'Every Child a Level 5 Reader in 2011 yesterday (Tuesday).
    Eddie,
    Just thought I'd let you know that my pupils who are using Jumpstart are really into the swing of it now & loving it. So no matter what other benefits come with time they are already switched on to reading. One of my very poorest readers today read his chosen text to the whole class - and asked to go to the library to find more books on the sun!
    Npw that's what I call 'teaching!'
     
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    You kindly sent me a copy which arrived today

     
  12. That's a timely surprise. I hope you discover that it is nothing more than a toolbox of resources which enable teachers to respond productively to the diverse needs of children with a deficit in literacy skills and that you will post your reactions on the forum both before and again after using it with pupils, if indeed you decide to do so.


     
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    It won't actually be my descision (as literacy coordinator) because I don't teach Y5 or 6 but I am interested in exploring the possibility with the English teacher.
     
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Me too.
     
  15. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Eddie, this is a flagrant breach of your instructions, but my 6 year old is enjoying it greatly. I am still hoping to persuade some schools to use it (correctly!) during my volunteering.
     
  16. I have had a great many instances of children with reading difficulties using the library at home and finding that their younger siblings also enjoy it and in some cases racing ahead of them. Ultimately, the toolbox of resources is designed to ensure that children develop a love of reading - whatever age they are. When they start to enjoy having their minds stimulated by what they read as opposed to whatever visual stimuli surrounds them, the problem vanishes. The only thing that motivates anyone to read anything is the intellectual content of the text. I suspect your 6 year old will become a very skilled reader, very soon.

     

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