Rose and decodable books

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Susan Godsland
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Rose and decodable books

Post by Susan Godsland » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:57 am

This post, written by RRFer maizie, comes from the TES messageboard and was written in response to posts 25 and 29.

http://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffroom/ ... sagePage=3

"It is also a very common misconception that phonics' people say children shouldn't look at books until they can read them.

There is a world of difference between 'looking' at books and reading them. Phonics practitioners are just as concerned that children should enjoy a 'literature rich environment' as any of the 'balanced literacy/whole language advocates. All that they say is that children should not be expected to READ books which are beyond their current state of phonic knowledge. Giving children words to decode which are beyond their capability is something akin to expecting a beginning pianist to play a piano sonata before they have mastered the scales.

Systematic phonics instruction is scaffolded learning; give the child words to read which it hasn't learnt the code for and you pull the scaffold away from under them, leaving them dangling helplessly. with no option but to guess at the word. This confuses and scares children, and turns them off reading. I can't understand why anyone would want to do that.

It is a shame that Jim Rose felt it necessary to use the rather pejorative term 'phonics fundamentalists' in the interview you quoted. He undermines his own Report by using such ill judged and emotive language."

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