Sounds~Write training report available to view

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chew8
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by chew8 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:39 pm

No doubt David Crystal uses slash-marks because they are a standard linguistic convention. I, too, have always used them, so am certainly not arguing against them. I think, though, that there needs to be some latitude, not least because of existing materials in programmes such as Jolly Phonics and Sounds-Write.

Jenny C.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:13 pm

I agree. My comments are not intended in a critical light - but all publishers edit and re-publish their materials after a period of time - and I'm suggesting that we are going through a signifcant era of development in general understanding - thus we need to move on in ways which could well be for the general public, and educational, good.

It's just progress or development.

Many schools use, indeed they have felt the need to use, resources and programmes and book schemes from various publishers and manufacturers in a supplementary and complementary way. They are not wedded to just one resource provider. Surely it is not a bad thing if certain features of synthetic phonics information and organisation were shared 'in common'?

Slash marks do not appear to be owned by any one author or publisher, they are generic - but very, very useful organisationally and to explain the differences between sounds and letters/letter groups.

If you read a manual which avoids the use of slash marks to denote when the 'sound' is intended, it can be very confusing to read - especially when the point is reached of introducing spelling alternatives or pronunciation alternatives.

Also, where publishers (or authors) have not established the 'alphabetic code chart' for their programme, it is not uncommon to find a number of flaws and contradictions in the manual when they refer to sounds and spelling alternatives and provide various word lists. There is confusion and inconsistency.

I have also seen such confusion and inconsistency in national curriculums of other countries and in documents of people who claim an expertise.

Now, that's not hard - because I myself have taken some time to unpick the complexities and to work out how to explain them to others (and I'm still finding things out about various words and spellings and I still have to think hard about the sounds and the mapping to various spellings in some words) - but if programmes such as commonly known ones and established ones had provided alphabetic code charts and consistent notation in their manuals, I (and others) would not have taken so long to understand the alphabetic code in the first place.

I'm not a natural linguist and it can be good to have to work hard at something to work it out - in fact this could arguably give someone like me a better insight in how to explain things to other people - but should it be hard work for ordinary parents and teachers to pick up a phonics programme and have to work out the nature of the alphabetic code?

I agree that you can teach effectively when the content is appropriate without even knowing fully what you are doing - indeed so many of us have picked up a phonics manual and set of resources and achieved great results without full understanding, but can we improve things more generally?

For example, when one does know how to teach phonics, it can be very simple and you need very few resources indeeed. But a good teacher then starts to think what extra resources will make the teaching more effective - especially when trying to teach classes of 30 children with varying abiliy and maturity.

That is where resource provision kicks in - the teacher's needs to support the teaching and the children's needs - large numbers of children over sustained periods for reading, spelling and handwriting.

So, with ignorance, we can still teach. With few resources we can still teach.

But how much better can we teach with greater knowledge and understanding - and with systematic resources which are content-rich to support the teaching and learning of very large numbers of children?

That is the question!

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maizie
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by maizie » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:44 pm

Susan Godsland wrote:
you'd never get the Sounds~Write people to change!
Really?

http://www.sounds-write.co.uk/docs/how_ ... eaders.pdf
I wish we had an 'eat my words' smilie... :oops:

chew8
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by chew8 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:03 pm

The fact remains, though that Sounds-Write publications are in circulation which don't use slash-marks and many people will carry on using these and also Jolly Phonics and other publications which use conventions other than slash-marks.

Jenny C.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:15 pm

The fact remains, though that Sounds-Write publications are in circulation which don't use slash-marks and many people will carry on using these and also Jolly Phonics and other publications which use conventions other than slash-marks.
Of course - but this is just one moment in time and things may change over time.

We can always aspire.

chew8
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by chew8 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:05 pm

What I have a problem with is the implication that all programmes should use slash-marks even if they’ve found something else working perfectly well. As I’ve said, I think there should be some latitude – we shouldn’t try to lay down the law for everyone.

Jenny C.

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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:24 am

Re. OP, I've heard that the Ofsted phonics-training inspector spent a couple of days this week watching another Sounds-Write training team in action.

I await his report with interest.

geraldinecarter
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by geraldinecarter » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:24 pm

That's very heartening news. Do we have a list of training programmes that have been inspected?

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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by john walker » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:28 pm

There is only one Ofsted inspector and he has now seen all the trainings in the catalogue.
As I believe that we were one of the first to be inspected, it has fallen to us to be monitored again. The inspector came to see Day 1 and Day 4, on which we teach polysyllabic words and spellings strategies.
He told me we could expect to receive the report within the next week.
John Walker
Sounds-Write
www.sounds-write.co.uk
http://literacyblog.blogspot.com

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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by john walker » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:43 pm

Not in the spirit of discord, but 'just saying'; you'd never get the Sounds~Write people to change! They use < > to denote 'sounds' and it would mean a massive rewrite of all their detailed and comprehensive training materials and confusion among S~W trained teachers

I agree that it would be helpful to standardise but, like simplified spelling, I don't think it will happen.
Well, Maizie, you'll be gratified to hear that I have gone through all our materials and am in the process of improving and tidying up all of our material. One of the changes will be to conventionalise the representation of sounds and place them within forward slashes. I have already trialled the change on a number of sample courses and found that no-one is at all confused by the shift. [By the way, we represent spellings, not sounds, within chevron brackets.]
As someone who worked for the British Council, I did want to do this from the start but my two colleagues at the time preferred speech marks. Ten or more years ago, when we wrote the programme, it seemed more 'intuitive' to use speech marks and no-one ever complained and it did disambiguate a couple of possible problems.
However, it seems silly not to bring things into line with established convention. Hence that particular change.
I hope that clarifies things.
John Walker
Sounds-Write
www.sounds-write.co.uk
http://literacyblog.blogspot.com

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:36 pm

Well, Maizie, you'll be gratified to hear that I have gone through all our materials and am in the process of improving and tidying up all of our material.
John - I am so delighted with this shift in the notation for sounds - thank you so much. :grin: :grin: :grin:

I fight long and hard trying to persuade people about the need to have certain commonalities amongst phonics programmes and this is surely one of the most important ones - well done!

Interestingly, we are also going through a process of 'improving and tidying up all our material' in an online kind of way as our PI programme is delivered online - major changes in terms of presentation of the resources via the webpages and so on.

It is enormously time-consuming and unbelievably fiddly - but it is surely something that everyone producing resources and programmes should aspire to.

Elizabeth
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by Elizabeth » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:37 pm

I've only just read this thread.

Jenny wrote and others agreed:
Jolly Phonics has been around for 20 years and has worked well, in schools and with parents, without using slash-marks.
But Jolly Phonics does use slash marks for sounds - consistently, throughout the Phonics Handbook.
Elizabeth

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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by Elizabeth » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:42 pm

And the Jolly Phonics Handbook introduction explains it like this:
To avoid confusion, Jolly Phonics follows the convention of using different symbols to distinguish between letter names and letter sounds. Letter names are indicated by the symbols < > : 'ship' begins with the letter <s>, for example. By contrast, letter sounds are indicated by the symbols / / : 'ship' begins with the /sh/ sound.
So the chevron brackets are used in a similar way to the way Sounds~Write uses them.
Elizabeth

geraldinecarter
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by geraldinecarter » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:04 pm

That is good news. I found myself getting a bit befuddled by the Sounds~Write lexicon as it didn't use slash marks for sounds and used to find myself wondering at first whether phonemes or graphemes were referred to. Slightly off-topic, wouldn't a shorter - less exhaustive - edition be invaluable for teachers, particularly for key stage 2 and secondary schools, John? I'm not too keen on this exhaustive mining of correspondences - seems it could go on for ever. And now Polish is the third most common language in England and things are changing fast and all sorts of orthographics are likely to enter the English language - when and where is the stopping point? And cildren in multi-racial schools are quickly exposed to the orthographics of all sorts of languages.

chew8
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Re: Sounds~Write training report available to view

Post by chew8 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:03 pm

Elizabeth wrote:But Jolly Phonics does use slash marks for sounds - consistently, throughout the Phonics Handbook
Slash-marks are not used in the edition I have (1992). JP must have introduced them later.

Jenny C.

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