http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/69 ... kills.html
UK educational psychologist, John Noble, comments on this study:
''All state educated children in NZ are first taught by the language based methods of Marie Clay which are akin to Reading Recovery Methods used here. Using a picture vocabulary test to assess 'receptive vocabulary' as one of his 'controls', the study compared the later reading comprehension scores of about 50 children at 11 and 12 attending Steiner Schools (which also stress the importance of language methods) and State Schools. No differences were found at 11 and 12.
This study has absolutely no implications whatsoever for the first teaching of reading in the UK using synthetic phonics, because no such comparison was included in the Otago study. After working in NZ a couple of streets away from Otago University and having assessed some dreadful cases of all round literacy skills failure in the 2 Steiner Schools sampled in this study, as well as witnessed similarly appalling cases of reading and spelling failure in NZ state schools, I think we need to advise great caution in this country about proposals about precipitous changes in the timing of first literacy teaching derivable from this amateurish bit of research nonsense from NZ''