Importance of Sustained Reading

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Importance of Sustained Reading

Post by geraldinecarter » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:29 pm

Two of the finest research-based bloggers (who train secondary schools using Direct Instruction, Dianne and James Murphy) state the importance of sustained volume of reading from about Year 3. Following the intensive technical and practical knowledge provided by SSP from Reception -Year 2,I believe that the RRF's main emphasis should be on sustained reading, with SSP for spelling required mainly as an incidental extra.
"There is evidence (Stanovich, 1988) that vocabulary development from about Year 3 is largely a function of volume of reading. Nagy and Anderson (1984) estimate that, in school, struggling readers may read around 100,000 words per year while for keen mid-primary students the figure may be closer to 10,000,000, that is, a 100 fold difference. For out of school reading, Fielding, Wilson and Anderson (1986) suggested a similar ratio in indicating that children at the 10th percentile of reading ability in their Year 5 sample read about 50,000 words per year out of school, while those at the 90th percentile read about 4,500,000 words per year.” (ibid)

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Re: Importance of Sustained Reading

Post by Elizabeth » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:49 pm

I agree about the importance of sustained reading for all the reasons Geraldine mentioned. And I agree that those who promote synthetic phonics for teaching basic reading and writing skills should make it clear that it is a foundation after which other aspects of reading follow, for example sustained reading. I am glad that there appears to be more emphasis on sustained reading now than in the recent past.

I do not agree that the RRFs main emphasis should be on sustained reading. There is still much to do to ensure the initial teaching of reading and writing is through synthetic phonics teaching. There are many educators who still do not 'get it'.

We do need to keep correcting the notion that those who promote synthetic phonics think that phonics is all there is to literacy. It is so far from the truth and we have explained the place of synthetic phonics so often, that it is annoying to have to keep explaining. But it is still necessary.

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Re: Importance of Sustained Reading

Post by chew8 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:52 am

I understood Geraldine's point to be that the RRF should emphasise the importance of sustained reading once early SSP has ensured that children can decode well, rather than that sustained reading should be the main emphasis from the start.

Re. SSP and spelling: I used SSP with all my children and have now used it with 4 grandchildren, too, though I haven't found it necessary to cover the whole alphabetic code in detail. A grandson aged 4 years 6 months is about to start in Reception - the school seems to be staggering its YR intake, so he won't actually start until this week. When he was talking excitedly about it on Friday, I asked him if he could write 'school', expecting him to write either 'scool' or 'skool', but he actually wrote it correctly. We haven't yet taught him the 'ch' spelling for /k/, so I asked him how he knew, and the only explanation he could offer was that he 'just knew' it. I think that what happens when children have a good start in READING by SSP is that they get to a point where they can quite easily read words containing grapheme-phoneme correspondences that they haven't been explicitly taught, and that if they see a word often enough, they remember the details for spelling purposes, too.

In fact when I think of all the older students whom I've taught and whose written work I've marked, it seems clear that they must have absorbed a lot of spelling in this way, as they can't actually have been TAUGHT every word. At the time I was teaching, they wouldn't even have been taught much phonics, as very little was being taught in primary schools.

Jenny C.