'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Moderators: Debbie Hepplewhite, maizie, Lesley Drake, Susan Godsland

chew8
Posts: 4158
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by chew8 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:20 pm

My last post was mainly about the problems that the Machin et al. study has caused by classifying something as synthetic phonics (s.p.) which was not Clackmannanshire-style s.p. I want to make it clear that in spite of those problems, I don’t regard Machin et al. as ‘phonics detractors’. In fact, they reached a positive conclusion about at-risk children, and thought that this in itself justified the initiative, so although they said that there was no long-term benefit for the rest, they didn’t imply that this cancelled out the advantages:
They wrote:The results for our study suggests that there is a persistent effect for those classified as non-native English speakers and economically disadvantaged (as measured by free school meal status). The effect persists for these children who enter school with significant literacy deficits and is at least 0.10 of a standard deviation on the reading test at age 11. This is impressive given that the phonics approach is only actively taught up to the age of 7. Without a doubt it is high enough to justify the fixed cost of a year’s intensive training support to teachers. Furthermore, it contributes to closing gaps based on disadvantage and (initial) language proficiency by family background.
Complications are caused when s.p. is defined in different ways. In a book published by what was then the United Kingdom Reading Association in 2002 (Perspectives on the Teaching and Learning of Phonics, ed. Cook), Prof. Brooks, in explaining how s.p. worked for reading and spelling respectively, wrote the following: ‘The “sounding out” processes in reading and spelling are somewhat different, since in spelling the meaning and whole spoken form of the word are known, whereas the whole point of this method of word attack is to discover those things’ (p. 70). That was the version of s.p. used in the Clackmannanshire study: children were taught from the start to ‘discover’ the ‘whole spoken form of the word’ (and hence its meaning, if the word was orally familiar) by saying sounds for the letters from left to right and blending (synthesising) those sounds. And yet a year later, in his 2003 ‘Sound Sense’ paper, Brooks was saying that the National Literacy Strategy version of phonics was synthetic, despite the fact that children were not 'discovering' the spoken form of the target word as they already knew it. That was clearly not s.p. in the Clackmannanshire sense, and this, I think, has meant some ongoing confusion.

I hold firmly to the view that as it was the 2005 Clackmannanshire study which apparently prompted the Education and Skills Committee to recommend a large-scale comparative study, the Clackmannanshire approach should have been one of those investigated. That study was never done, and the 2016 Machin et al. study is no substitute. This needs to be rectified if a future study is done. I have mentioned this in recent private correspondence with Prof. Brooks, as he is a co-author of the 2018 Torgerson et al. tertiary review, where the following statement appears under ‘Conclusions’: ‘But what is required above all are large field trials of different phonics approaches and different phonics “dosages”. We called for such an approach in our review of phonics teaching in 2006, and a decade later we make the same call.’

Jenny C,

chew8
Posts: 4158
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by chew8 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:41 pm

Still more thoughts....

Stephen Krashen’s chapter in the new Clark book distinguishes between ‘intensive phonics’ and ‘basic phonics’. He says that ‘Basic phonics appears to have some use, but there are good reasons why intensive phonics is not the way to improve reading’. He illustrates ‘basic phonics’ by quoting from the 2004 edition of Frank Smith’s Understanding Reading:
Smith wrote:The child is reading the sentence ‘The man was riding on the h____’ and cannot read the final word. Given the context and recognition of h, the child can make a good guess as to what the final word is: the reader will know that the word is not donkey and mule. This won’t work every time (some readers might think the missing word was ‘Harley’), but some knowledge of phonics can restrict the possibilities of what the unknown words are.
Krashen continues immediately as follows:
He wrote:Basic Phonics is the position of the authors of Becoming a Nation of Readers, a book widely considered to provide strong support for phonics instruction:

... phonics instruction should aim to teach only the most important and regular of letter-to-sound relationships ... once the basic relationships have been taught, the best way to get children to refine and extend their knowledge of letter-sound correspondences is through repeated opportunities to read. If this position is correct, then much phonics instruction is overly subtle and probably unproductive. (Anderson et al., 1985: 38)
This surprised me – I hadn’t read this publication but had known about it since about 1990 and had not thought it supported Smith's kind of thinking. I then googled to see what I could find about it and discovered that the whole thing was available for free, so I’ve now read it:

http://textproject.org/assets/library/r ... eaders.pdf

It’s well worth reading – most of the stuff about phonics is in the first 50 pages or so, though I think that advocates of Clackmannanshire-style synthetic phonics would also agree with much of what it subsequently says about comprehension. There’s a very interesting bit on pp. 45-6 comparing text which does and does not fit in with the phonics-taught-to-date.

I don’t think Krashen is right to suggest that the publication as a whole supports Frank Smith’s thinking, but on the other hand, I think he is right to think that it doesn’t support ‘intensive phonics’ as defined by him:
He wrote:This position claims that we learn to read by first learning the rules of phonics, and that we read by sounding out what is on the page, either out-loud or to ourselves (decoding to sound). It also asserts that all rules of phonics must be deliberately taught and consciously learned.
This also doesn’t describe Clackmannanshire-style synthetic phonics, especially if the ‘rules’ are anything like as numerous and complicated as those which Clymer (1963) found to be commonly taught in American phonics programmes, many of which are rightly seen by both him and Krashen as unreliable.

Clackmannanshire-style s.p. recognises that 95% or more of UK school entrants would not be able to read any of the words in Smith’s sentence, let alone enough of them to use context to guess at the last word. They would also probably know few if any letter-sound correspondences. S.p. teaches those correspondences, a few at a time, together with the skill of blending so that children can get an early feel for independently working pronunciations out from letters – ‘cat’, ‘dog’ and ‘hen’ would come well before ‘horse’, but within a few months, many children would be able to read ‘The brown hen laid an egg in the chicken run’ and ‘The farmer trotted along on his black horse’. Reading, for these children, is not a matter either of applying rules or of guessing – it’s a matter of responding automatically to single letters and digraphs with the sounds that have been taught and of blending those sounds into meaningful words. Within 12-15 months, most children taught this way can read previously-encountered words, and even some visually unfamiliar words, without overt sounding and blending - I’ve seen this at first hand. Moreover, I’ve seen that many children don’t need to be explicitly taught a very full set of grapheme-phoneme correspondences, as they start to self-teach.

If more people understood how synthetic phonics works, there might be less criticism of it.

Jenny C.

Elizabeth
Posts: 993
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 8:47 pm

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by Elizabeth » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:29 am

Here is a link to the chapter Jenny commented on, so anyone who is interested can read it without buying the book and think for themselves about what Jenny wrote:

Does Phonics Deserve the Credit for Improvement in PIRLS?
Stephen Krashen, In Margaret Clark (Ed) Teaching Initial Literacy

http://www.sdkrashen.com/content/articl ... _pirls.pdf
Elizabeth

chew8
Posts: 4158
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by chew8 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:30 pm

Thanks, Elizabeth. It’s great that Krashen has made it possible for people to read his chapter without needing to buy the book.

If any others have the time to read Becoming a Nation of Readers, I would be interested to hear whether they think, as I do, that taken as a whole it does not support the Smith-Krashen position as expressed in the Krashen chapter. In fact, what it says about ‘explicit phonics instruction’ strikes me as giving quite a lot of support to Clackmannanshire-style synthetic phonics – for example:
The authors wrote:In explicit phonics instruction, the sounds associated with letters are identified in isolation and then "blended" together to form words. For example, the teacher may write the letter s on the chalkboard and tell the children that the letter makes the sound /s/, or point to the s in the word sat and say that it begins with /s/. During a typical explicit phonics lesson, the children will be asked to produce the sounds of letters that appear in isolation and in words. A critical step in explicit phonics instruction is blending the isolated sounds of letters to produce words. To help children blend the sounds in the word sit, for example, a teacher may begin by pointing to each letter and asking the children to say the separate sounds, /s/ /i/ /t/. Next the teacher may model blending by extending the sounds /ssiit/ and then collapsing the sounds together to yield sit.... Research indicates that teachers who spend more than average amounts of time on blending produce larger than average gains on first- and second-grade reading achievement tests. (p. 39)
Re. whether phonics deserves the credit for England's latest PIRLS results: It seems to me that RRFers and Clark et al. agree that the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check (PSC) has caused teachers to be much more systematic in teaching Reception and Year 1 children to identify unfamiliar printed words by sounding and blending, so that is not at issue. What is at issue is whether this may have a negative long-term impact on reading in general. I’ve said in this thread that we can’t claim that the PSC and s.p. have caused England’s improved PIRLS results (see below) but it seems to me that Clark et al. sometimes come close to suggesting that there is or will be a cause-and-effect relationship.
For example, on 9 December 2017 I quoted the last two paragraphs in the Reading the Evidence book:
Dombey wrote:Our political masters care about the test scores of our ten-year-olds and fifteen-year-olds on PIRLS and PISA, those crucial international tests of semantic and pragmatic competence. However, they seem to believe that to improve these scores, all that is needed is that the five and six-year-olds learn fidelity to the letters on the page (at least to those in words with regular spellings). The development of England's children as text critics seems entirely outside governmental concern.

We are enduring a policy that is deeply counter-productive. However, when this becomes evident, when our scores on the international league tables continue to languish, it will probably be teachers rather than the policy that will be held responsible. We should not let this happen. The challenge for the future is to bring these issues into the open: to make our masters aware of the need for instruments to assess children and the teaching of reading to reflect a more informed view of what reading is and of the approaches to the teaching of reading that have been shown to work in real classrooms, in England, and elsewhere in the world.
Then, on 17 December, I referred to an announcement from the Australian Literacy Educators' Association (ALEA) about the launch in Perth of Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning, edited by Margaret M Clark.
ALEA wrote:Prior to the publication of the book, Margaret wrote in the Education Journal, October 2017,

"Australia is in the fortunate position of being able to learn from the research that has been conducted since the implementation of the Phonics Screening Check and mandatory synthetic phonics teaching in England. The lesson is clear. The Check, and synthetic phonics approaches are unable to deliver what was hoped. Australia should look elsewhere for answers to its literacy challenges.'
I then wrote: 'What about the 2016 PIRLS results? We may not be able to say definitely that synthetic phonics and the PSC have caused England's improvement, but there has been an improvement, and this is the reverse of what Clark and Co. seem to have expected.' Critics as well as supporters of s.p. all need to play by the same rules when it comes to cause and effect.

Jenny C.

geraldinecarter
Posts: 990
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by geraldinecarter » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:07 pm

It would seem that Margaret Clark and Stephen Krashen are impervious to criticism. There are, of course, decades of criticism of Stephen Krashen- promoted Whole Language (in spite of horrendous illiteracy and semi illiteracy rates in US,Australia, New Zealand).Krashen's notorious remark that a reason for the plummeting of Californian literacy rates from best performing US state to 2nd bottom) in the year phonics instruction was dropped in favour of Whole Language was partly due to the influx of migrants into California. It's strange, on the other hand, with the arrival of thousands of migrants in London, literacy rates (in conjunction with Systematic Synthetic Phonics) have risen spectacularly.

Two recent articles:
Alison Clarke's pithy criticism of Margaret Clark's book: https://www.spelfabet.com.au/?s=margaret+clark

and John Walker's pertinent critique of contributor Misty Adoniou
' Misty Muddies the Water - again.... https://theliteracyblog.com/page/2/

are both well worth reading.

James Curran
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:24 am

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by James Curran » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:48 pm

I’ve just read the chapter by Stephen Krashen, ‘Does Phonics deserve the credit for improvement in PIRLS?’ We’re back to phonics as a strategy of last resort when all the guessing fails. I find it difficult to take seriously anyone who uses the Smith example of ‘The man was riding the h-----.’ as a strategy for word recognition. I don’t understand the terminology he uses when he talks about ‘intensive phonics or basic or light’ There’s an Alphabetic code which we teach which is neither intensive, basic or light. As for the rules that have to be learned I’m puzzled, as most of us teach few or no rules.

I wonder how many struggling students Professor Krashen has taught to read. Some times you can only know what works when you’ve been at the coalface and I’m not sure Professor Krashen has that experience.

User avatar
maizie
Administrator
Posts: 3121
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:38 pm
Location: N.E England

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by maizie » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:47 pm

Jenny,

You say
I don’t think Krashen is right to suggest that the publication as a whole supports Frank Smith’s thinking, but on the other hand, I think he is right to think that it doesn’t support ‘intensive phonics’ as defined by him:
I have read the section about phonics in 'Becoming a Nation of Readers' the extract below is that quoted by Krashen
Basic Phonics is the position of the authors of Becoming a Nation of Readers, a book widely
considered to provide strong support for phonics instruction: ‘...phonics instruction should aim to
teach only the most important and regular of letter-to-sound relationships ... once the basic
relationships have been taught, the best way to get children to refine and extend their knowledge
of letter-sound correspondences is through repeated opportunities to read.
However, if you read the descriptions of phonics 'types' in 'Becoming..' this is apparently what the authors mean by the intensive phonics which Krashen says is unnecessary:
If this position is correct, (i,e intensive phonics)then
much phonics instruction is overly subtle and probably
unproductive. For instance, many reading programs not
only teach the speech sounds represented by the letters
b, l, and r, but then they go on to directly teach the
sounds associated with bl as in black and br as in break.
This instruction is provided even to children who can
read words containing bl and br flawlessly!
I think we would all agree that this is indeed complete overkill; that there is absolutely no need to teach 'blends'. (I've been arguing this on twitter very recently). So Krashen actually appears to agree with us.

I suspect that Krashen is not aware that our SSP programmes do only teach 'basic phonics' and conform, it seems, closely to the model approved by Anderson et al. He might well then go on to argue that the teaching of about 160 LSCs is overkill but he doesn't say so in his chapter.

I note that Anderson et al draw this conclusion about phonics teaching
In summary, the purpose of phonics is to teach children
the alphabetic principle. The goal is for this to
become an operating principle so that young readers
consistently use information about the relationship between
letters and sounds and letters and meanings to
assist in the identification of known words and to independently
figure out unfamiliar words. Research evidence
tends to favor explicit phonics.
Having asserted this on the strength of research evidence they then add their unevidenced opinion
However, the "ideal" phonics program would probably incorporate
features from implicit phonics as well
I can't help feeling that we should stick to research evidence

What has amazed me is the reliance on 130 year old research (Cattell 1886) on rapid reading of simple words. Has Krashen read Dehaene?

chew8
Posts: 4158
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by chew8 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:28 pm

Thanks, Maizie. Three comments:

1. I agree about the teaching of blends (e.g. ‘br’, ‘bl’). The Clark books have been produced in the context of synthetic phonics (s.p.) developments in Scotland and England. Krashen and others need to look at relevant s.p. programmes rather than making assumptions based on Clymer, whose list of rules/generalisations was based on USA programmes.

2. Krashen quotes Becoming a Nation of Readers on the matter of teaching ‘only the most important and regular of letter-to-sound relationships’. This raises the question of what counts as importance and regularity. 80+ letter-to-sound correspondences are specified for the Phonics Screening Check, and what I’ve seen in my voluntary work makes me think that this is enough to enable children to ‘come up with approximate pronunciations - candidates that have to be checked to see whether they match words known from spoken language that fit in the context of the story being read’ (Becoming a Nation of Readers, p. 38). This seems to be exactly the sort of sounding, blending, and tweaking-if-necessary approach for reading that many of us have long favoured. Obviously more is needed for spelling, but that’s a separate issue as good spelling also depends on other things – e.g. morphology and word-specific knowledge.

3. I agree, in principle, that we should ‘stick to research evidence’, but the studies by Rhona Johnston and colleagues may be the only ones in existence which deal with English-speaking children taught by the particular version of s.p. used in Clackmannanshire – e.g. without first being trained in phonemic awareness or in the sort of ‘scaffolded’ blending favoured by Greg Brooks (see http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/do ... 1&type=pdf, pp. 17-18). We may therefore have no other research to cite except Johnston et al., and we are then faced with criticism from people who say that it’s ‘flawed’. The critics, however, (a) don’t seem aware of the responses Johnston et al. have provided to their criticisms, (b) cite the 2016 Machin et al. study as if it involved Clackmannanshire-style s.p. when it didn’t, and (c) haven’t (as far as I know) done any studies which show their own favoured approach producing better results than Clack.-style s.p. – they really need to do this if they can. In the meantime, I think that peer-reviewed studies by Johnston et al. have shown this type of s.p. to be more effective than Scottish analytic phonics and National Literacy Strategy phonics – see, for example

https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 6.66359.62 and

https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 011-9323-x

Jenny C.

User avatar
maizie
Administrator
Posts: 3121
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:38 pm
Location: N.E England

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by maizie » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:02 pm

I agree, in principle, that we should ‘stick to research evidence’, but the studies by Rhona Johnston and colleagues may be the only ones in existence which deal with English-speaking children taught by the particular version of s.p. used in Clackmannanshire
Surely our contention has been for years that evidence for the constituent parts of SP can be found in the reading research? This evidence was pulled together by Prof. McGuinness in her 2004 book 'Early Reading Instruction' in which she constructs a prototype for a scientifically based programme of reading instruction and uses Jolly Phonics to demonstrate a programme which conforms closely to the prototype. (of course, since then other SP/LP programmes have come to the fore which also conform to her prototype).

I have yet to see any critique of her book which says that her prototype is faulty (though I may just have not looked in the right place)

Elizabeth
Posts: 993
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 8:47 pm

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by Elizabeth » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:26 am

First I should say that these messages and Jenny’s careful study of Clark’s book, are very important. We must keep challenging misleading reports on research evidence.

However, speaking personally, I am uncomfortable with the notion that research evidence is the only valid basis for deciding on the best way to teach. I know that my conviction that teaching synthetic phonics is by far the best way to teach reading is based on a combination of evidence.

I have been influenced by what I was told, my own teaching experiences, convincing reports about the experience of other teachers, logic and research evidence. In my opinion, all of these are valid and, when they agree, there is no problem. After many years of feeling uncomfortable about the fact that what I was told did not appear to agree with my own teaching experience, I was introduced to synthetic phonics and how to teach it. The children learned to read so much more quickly, accurately, confidently and happily than in my previous experience, that I was both thrilled and shocked that I had not known about this before. I knew that my own experience was not enough and so I searched for more information. When I learned about the logic of the alphabetic code and heard convincing reports about the experience of other teachers, I knew I had to look at the research evidence too. That has been difficult, because there are many summaries and comments on research that are conflicting and confusing, as this thread shows. However, in the end I found that the most reliable research evidence I have yet to learn about shows undeniably that systematic teaching of phonics and preferably synthetic phonics, without other strategies for word reading, is best.
Elizabeth

chew8
Posts: 4158
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by chew8 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:03 pm

Just to clarify: what I wrote was ‘I agree, in principle, that “we should stick to research evidence”’. I also accept, though, that other considerations come into it in practice. I myself can’t ignore the fact that my contemporaries and I were taught good phonics as young children, with no guessing from pictures etc., that I then taught hundreds of teenagers who had been taught that way at primary school, followed by hundreds who had not and had noticeably greater literacy problems, that I’ve used what amounted to synthetic phonics very successfully with my children and grandchildren as pre-schoolers, and that it’s what I found to work well in 17 years of working voluntarily in schools.

I was therefore not suggesting that we should do nothing else but cite research. Rather, my point was that IF we are citing research, the studies by Rhona Johnston and colleagues may be the only ones which are directly relevant to developments in England over the past 10-15 years. Maizie suggested that Diane McGuinness’s ‘prototype’ was also relevant – I wouldn’t ignore that, but my own view is that it isn’t a perfect fit with Clackmannanshire-style synthetic phonics at every point.

Jenny C.

Elizabeth
Posts: 993
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 8:47 pm

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by Elizabeth » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:46 am

Thank you for clarifying your position, Jenny. It makes sense.
Elizabeth

chew8
Posts: 4158
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by chew8 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:34 pm

Here’s another chapter from the recent Clark book which has been made available for free:

http://backseatlinguist.com/blog/wp-con ... -2018a.pdf

...and a press release about it:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3735767

I made some comments about the McQuillan chapter in this forum on 29 March. As I’ve said, problems do arise from the fact that Machin et al. regarded the Early Reading Development Pilot and Communication, Language and Literacy programme as embodying genuine synthetic phonics. I’m trying to find out more about this. It’s a pity, though, that people are focusing on the fact that Machin et al. found no overall impact rather than on the fact that the study reached a positive conclusion about the impact for at-risk children. I’ll quote again, as I did on 31 March:
Machin et al. wrote: The results for our study suggests that there is a persistent effect for those classified as non-native English speakers and economically disadvantaged (as measured by free school meal status). The effect persists for these children who enter school with significant literacy deficits and is at least 0.10 of ado standard deviation on the reading test at age 11. This is impressive given that the phonics approach is only actively taught up to the age of 7. Without a doubt it is high enough to justify the fixed cost of a year’s intensive training support to teachers. Furthermore, it contributes to closing gaps based on disadvantage and (initial) language proficiency by family background.
Jenny C.

User avatar
Debbie Hepplewhite
Administrator
Posts: 3653
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:13 pm
Location: Berkshire
Contact:

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:10 pm

I'd like to pick up on something that Maizie quoted and then questioned because the statement is based on 'opinion' as opposed to 'evidence':
However, the "ideal" phonics program would probably incorporate
features from implicit phonics as well
This rationale is one I agree with - it really means 'systematic synthetic phonics - and then some more when opportunities arise'.

I don't understand how one can disagree with this approach - does it mean systematic provision and then extra provision? If so, what's to criticise?

I have formalised this explicit and implicit phonics approach and call it 'two-pronged systematic and incidental phonics teaching and learning' and have found it very helpful for freeing up teachers to call upon explanations about the alphabetic code for reading and spelling in the wider curriculum, and to facilitate 'differentiation' for children who benefit from a quicker and wider exposure to the complex English alphabetic code.

Perhaps I am misinterpreting the meaning of 'implicit' phonics with my promotion of 'incidental' phonics teaching as the incidental teaching I'm suggesting is still explicit teaching but not formally planned. So, perhaps I'm not arguing about the same approach?

User avatar
maizie
Administrator
Posts: 3121
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:38 pm
Location: N.E England

Re: 'Reading the Evidence: Synthetic Phonics and Literacy Learning' (ed. M. Clark)

Post by maizie » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:18 am

This is the description of 'implicit phonics' taken from Becoming a Nation of Readers'
In implicit phonics instruction, the sound associated
with a letter is never supposed to be pronounced in
isolation. Instead, in an implicit program the teacher
might write a list of words on the board such as sand,oft, slip, and ask the children what all the words have
in common. When the letter name s has been elicited,
the teacher would tell the children that,
"The letter s
stands for the sound you hear at the beginning of
sand, soft, and slip." To figure out the sound of a letter in a
word to be read, children receiving implicit phonics
instruction may be told, "This word begins with the
letter s, so you know the word begins with the sound
for s" or "think about other words you know that begin
with the same letter?
I'll leave it to you, Debbie, to judge whether or not it describes what you call 'incidental' phonics teaching.

I'm completely in favour of incidental teaching because, of course, 'phonics' is not confined to one half hour session a day; it pervades all reading and writing tasks.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests