Dombey: Questioning Phonics

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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:38 pm
Location: N.E England

Post by maizie »

From Kerry Hempenstall's article:
The Reading Miscue Inventory has had considerable influence in instructional texts and in classrooms (Allington, 1984), and remains influential among Whole Language theorists and teachers (Weaver, 1988). A revised version - RMI: Alternative Procedures (Goodman, Watson, & Burke, 1987) offers four analysis options of varying complexity for classroom use. The rationale is unchanged " ... it is best to avoid the common sense notion that what the reader was supposed to have read was printed in the text" (Goodman et al., 1987, p.60) - and the Alternative Procedures are subject to the same criticisms as earlier versions. Although the RMI has been a very popular test, many teachers (for example, in Reading Recovery) have been trained to use an informal procedure of maintaining "running records" (Clay, 1985) with their students, a procedure that provides similar information on types of errors and self-correction rates, and that is based on a similarly flawed conception of reading.

You what?!

Cannot these supposedly intelligent people see how deeply iilogical (not to mention downright stupid) statements like this are?

Surely any self respecting author would have a screaming fit at the thought that it is suggested that their carefully chosen words aren't really deemed to be important by the WL gurus. Why bother with all that artistry and craft? Why don't they just publish a set of blank pages and leave the reader to get on with making it all up as they go along?

Oh dear, it's far too early for G & T........

Lesley Drake

Post by Lesley Drake »

Found this clanger in the middle of it.

In a similar vein, the British National Literacy Strategy (1998) has recently been released to all primary schools, requiring them to abandon the current Whole Language approach to reading. Components of the former system, such as reliance on context clues to aid word reading, are discredited in the Strategy, and schools are directed to introduce explicit phonics instruction from the earliest stages of reading.

If only it had been true!