This new booklet gives UKLA’s balanced approach to enabling more children to become readers.
http://www.ukla.org/news/ukla_publishes ... word_by_m/Recent policy announcements about primary education from the UK’s coalition government have focused on the teaching of reading. In its business plan, published on November 12th, the government included the target of promoting "systematic synthetic phonics in schools" to remedy low reading scores. The government is also planning to introduce "a simple reading test" for six-year-olds to help identify those who need extra help. This is likely to be a non-word reading test.
In this important booklet Henrietta Dombey and colleagues in the UKLA and the International Reading Association draw on abundant evidence from both sides of the Atlantic to show that what actually works in the classroom is a more comprehensive, integrated and flexible approach.
UKLA argues that phonics is not enough; both moves are unhelpful and Teaching Reading sets out a research-informed alternative approach.
In addition UKLA has published an accompanying statement which gives 5 clear reasons to show why a ‘non-word reading test’ would be unproductive.
Both publications are also available in printed form from UKLA for £5
Linked to this story in the TES
Former laureate warns of threat to joy of reading
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6063586The increasing emphasis on using phonics in primary schools, backed by faulty evidence, risks turning children off reading, according to a report published today.
In his introduction to the report by the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA), former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen accuses ministers of pushing the approach to reading because it corresponds with "their party's philosophy-of-the-moment".
The report, Teaching Reading: what the evidence says, warns that placing more focus on phonics - which the coalition Government plans to do - will make children enjoy books less. "Restricting them to an unbalanced diet, the thin gruel of a phonics-dominated approach, is a recipe for lowering standards and turning children against the written word," it states.
Mr Rosen writes that ministers of different political shades had given their backing to phonics without recognising its drawbacks, which include that English is "not written in a consistently 'phonic' way". "By and large (ministers) don't listen to teachers and they don't look at research - particularly if it's research about how children learn," he writes. "Instead they look for 'favourites', experts whose views correspond with their party's philosophy-of-the-moment".
Supporters of phonics, which have included the right-wing think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies, have pointed to individual examples of schools where reading standards have improved after the introduction of more rigorous synthetic phonics. But Mr Rosen suggested that standard research practice had been abandoned in some case studies, as pupils had not been compared to a suitable control group.
The UKLA, a professional association made up of teachers and education academics, calls in its report for schools to use a balanced approach to reading, which includes teaching pupils to pronounce written words, and promoting understanding and engagement.
The report notes that Clackmannanshire, a local authority in Scotland celebrated for its use of phonics, had seen below-average scores in Scotland's national reading tests. "It makes no sense to direct all England's primary schools up the Clackmannanshire cul-de-sac", it says.