Independent Education - letters page

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g.carter
Posts: 1859
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 7:41 pm

Independent Education - letters page

Post by g.carter » Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:38 pm

Sounding Off - 2 letters were published - Lesley Charlton and Kenm's - thank you!

'Critics of synthetic phonics make much of the "exclusion of other methods of learning to read" but rarely, if ever, elaborate on what these methods are ("Don't bury our children under phonic lessons…"). Current practices include memorising words by shape and using pictures and context to guess at what a word might be. This all helps children to "tell" the story in their book, but is it actually reading? And do they really make enough of a connection between pictures/context and the letter string on the page to justify this as leaning to read?

Wendy Scott writes "There/their/thair/thare/thaer is a lot to looz." There is a lot to be gained by teaching children how letters work in words right from the start, instead of stretching the process out over a year or two, letting children form damaging misconceptions in the name of play and discovery learning. Surely, that way we free time and equip those children with real skills to use in their other activities.
Lesley Charlton

'Wendy Scott is right to criticise the so-called phonics lesson that she describes. This is not from a synthetic phonics programme, as I understand that. It may be from the sort of analytic phonics programme that many of us expect to be superseded as a result of the implementation of the final Rose Report. If so, it was being wrongly applied to children whose vocabulary was not large enough to make it useful. In the context of the Rose Report it was a straw man.
Ken Moore

And one slagging off phonics from the clappy happy semi-detached camp - 'what we need is phonological awareness rather than phonics. ' groan, groan….
this from someone who 'has specialised in dyslexia…'

When I 'specialised in dyslexia' in 1997 that's what we were told - but luckily I was put right by reading Diane McGuinness the following year - not too much time to do damage by mal-instruction, via the semi-detached phonological awareness route so beloved of Early Years 'reading specialists', thank goodness.

g.carter
Posts: 1859
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 7:41 pm

Post by g.carter » Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:07 am

This letter of mine was printed in yesterday's Independent Education - not nearly as eloquent as the Kenm, Lesley C letters published at the time. Was surprised that it made it into print three weeks later but I suppose it all helps…

"Synthetic Phonics

Wendy Scott would have strengthened her argument against the introduction of Reception children to synthetic phonics had she illustrated her case with an example of how synthetic phonics actually harms children (Don't bury our children under phonics lessons'…). Instead, she plucked out an example of "junk" phonics. Synthetic phonics is the antithesis of this kind of mind-numbing instruction. Why leave so many children to languish years after Reception, unable to understand how to read, when this approach is such fun, engages children so wholeheartedly, and teaches them to read ?"

chew8
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Post by chew8 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:28 am

We get the Independent, and I saw this last night - well done, Geraldine!

Jenny.

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