American Study: New guide to foundational reading skills

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Elizabeth
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American Study: New guide to foundational reading skills

Post by Elizabeth » Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:32 pm

This is what we would expect. There is strong evidence for the following recommendations:
- Develop awareness of the segments of sounds in speech and how they link to letters
- Teach students to decode words, analyse word parts, and write and recognise words
A new What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guide focuses on the foundational reading skills that enable students to read words, relate those words to their oral language, and read connected text with sufficient accuracy and fluency to understand what they read.

The authors conducted a thorough literature search, identified studies that met protocol requirements, and then reviewed those studies against WWC standards. The review focused on studies published since 2000. The guide, Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade, provides four recommendations that can be used to improve literacy skills from kindergarten to third grade (Years 1–4). Each recommendation is assigned a level of evidence based on the quantity and quality of the research:

- Teach students academic language skills, including the use of inferential and narrative language, and vocabulary knowledge (minimal evidence)
- Develop awareness of the segments of sounds in speech and how they link to letters (strong evidence)
- Teach students to decode words, analyse word parts, and write and recognise words (strong evidence)
- Ensure that each student reads connected text every day to support reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension (moderate evidence)

The practice guide is a companion to another WWC practice guide, Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade.
Elizabeth

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: American Study: New guide to foundational reading skills

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:30 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

Do you have a link to the guide?

geraldinecarter
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Re: American Study: New guide to foundational reading skills

Post by geraldinecarter » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:49 pm

'1. Teach students academic language skills, including the use of inferential and narrative language, and vocabulary knowledge (minimal evidence)
2. Develop awareness of the segments of sounds in speech and how they link to letters (strong evidence)
3. Teach students to decode words, analyse word parts, and write and recognise words (strong evidence)
4. Ensure that each student reads connected text every day to support reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension (moderate evidence)'

Without robust teaching and practice of points 2 and 3, point 1 would be counterproductive and point 4 would be futile/harmful for many children. It would be good to see the whole report.

Particularly those children who arrive at school with impoverished vocabulary and understanding, I'd suggest that without skilful teaching of vocabulary in the context of fiction and non-fiction (point 1) and point 4, are vital - how else will they ever catch up? The government has raised the bar for SATs 2 and disadvantaged children need a rich diet of vocabulary and introduction of text that is not simply linear and narrative-driven early on or how on earth do we ever hope to close the gap? But of course most of all they need points 2 and 3. But I'm suggesting that they may need more.

chew8
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Re: American Study: New guide to foundational reading skills

Post by chew8 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:04 pm

This seems to be the whole document:

http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/practice ... df#page=20

I've had a quick look through it and have problems with 2., as referred to by Geraldine above. It recommends starting 'awareness of the segments of sound in speech' at the large-unit level and only gradually working round to phonemes, so it seems to take a fairly typical American line on phonological and phonemic awareness.

Jenny C.

chew8
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Re: American Study: New guide to foundational reading skills

Post by chew8 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:58 am

The link I gave takes you straight to Recommendation 2, but you can scroll up from there to the beginning of the document.

Jenny C.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: American Study: New guide to foundational reading skills

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:02 am

Many thanks, Jenny, for the link and your observation.

There are some differences in 'understanding/approach' in different English-speaking countries and it would be wonderful if we could have more international collaboration regarding research and fine-tuning of methods and programmes.

Similar to the UK Reading Reform Foundation where we've looked for those important 'commonalities' to be able to define such as a 'prototype' (as Professor Diane McGuinness managed) or a 'core criteria' as established by the Department for Education and Skills historically in England, and then refined by the Department for Education in subsequent years, or the 'Systematic Synthetic Phonics Teaching Principles' as defined by the RRF, so we need to look at what we share with our international colleagues in our findings and experiences.

chew8
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Re: American Study: New guide to foundational reading skills

Post by chew8 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:01 pm

I’m all for finding common ground where possible.

What worries me here is that this recommendation (i.e. the WWC's Recommendation 2), which will carry a lot of weight with many people, seems to overlook some important evidence – Experiment 1 in Johnston and Watson’s study published in 2004 in Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal. It’s not as if the WWC people don’t know about it – they do, because they cite Experiment 2 from that study in support of their Recommendation 3. The experiment which would have been relevant to their Recommendation 2, however, was Experiment 1, as that was designed to check the effectiveness of larger-unit training. Johnston and Watson found that it was less effective than synthetic phonics – i.e. teaching letters, sounds and blending from the start (also segmenting for spelling).

It’s possible that the WWC people omitted Experiment 1 because they decided to include only randomised controlled trials, but they claim that this document is a follow-up to the National Reading Panel report of 2000, and I don’t think that included only RCTs.

Jenny C.

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