Didau on Rosen: Discussion about the prevailing multi-cueing reading strategies in England

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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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Didau on Rosen: Discussion about the prevailing multi-cueing reading strategies in England

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:34 pm

You may be interested in this very important posting by David Didau via his 'Learning Spy' blog.

It draws attention to the potential damage and misunderstanding perpetuated by influential people such as children's author, Michael Rosen, and literacy organisations such as the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA):

Reading for pleasure: A reader replies to Michael Rosen

December 28, 2015

Back in July I wrote this post on how we might encourage children to read for pleasure to which children’s author Michael Rosen left a long & detailed comment critiquing my ideas. The comment included this statement:

When children are deemed to be ‘not reading’ i.e. being unable to pass the Phonics Screening Check, some teachers are being asked to do more of the same, rather than do anything different, nor to investigate whether there are multiple reasons for a) not passing the phonics screening check or b) finding out whether some children can read pretty well but fail the PSC anyway. Indeed, there is now some evidence to suggest (UKLA) that ironically some ‘middle class’ children how have learned to read at home with their parents using a variety of methods find the PSC confusing. Some have been observed ‘correcting’ the nonsense words, e.g. ‘strom’ to ‘storm’. So they do not pass.

A few weeks ago, another correspondent, Jacqui Moller-Butcher left what I thought was a very interesting and thoughtful response to the point above and has kindly agreed to my request to post her reply as a separate post. Here it is.


I urge you to read Jacqui Moller-Butcher's excellent response - no wonder David Didau decided to highlight this development! See here:

http://www.learningspy.co.uk/featured/8840/

Some of the readers' comments are very telling. Note that despite the Rose Report in 2006 and subsequent government guidance promoting Systematic Synthetic Phonics with NO multi-cueing guessing strategies (that is, guessing unknown words from word shape, initial letters, picture cues and context), multi-cueing strategies DO prevail but increasingly teachers of older children are beginning to understand (or already understand) that damage is caused by teaching or promoting multi-cueing - or allowing children to default to guessing in place of effective and accurate decoding.

England is in the fortunate situation of successive governments getting on board with the need for Systematic Synthetic Phonics teaching with no multi-cueing - but sadly the 'message' to teachers has been a mixed one because at the same time as SSP was promoted, so was the multi-cueing reading strategies intervention programme, Reading Recovery. Different influential people in government allowed this contradiction to take place - and there has been much criticism of this - including, for example, the findings of the Science and Technology select committee in 2009.
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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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Hepplewhite: Review of Michael Rosen's article in 'Teach Reading and Writing'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:39 pm

I'm cross-referencing this thread with a previous thread dedicated to Rosen's perpetual challenge to the government's promotion of Systematic Synthetic Phonics. This helps to demonstrate what we are up against in the media and national domain. Critics are vociferous and get plenty of media coverage:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=414
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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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Didau: Only phonics? A reader replies to Michael Rosen Part 2

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:43 pm

Imagine my surprise when the day after David's posting he makes another posting and Michael Rosen himself responds at length!

So, here is the ongoing discussion via David Didau's 'Learning Spy' blog:

http://www.learningspy.co.uk/reading/only-phonics/
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Didau: Phonics is not a cure for cancer

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:00 am

David extends this topic to a third blog posting - Michael Rosen, Stephen Krashen, Jacqui Moller-Butcher, Pat Stone all making contributions - and me!

Phonics is not a cure for cancer


http://www.learningspy.co.uk/reading/8854/

This typifies the reading debate - back and forth - and no further forwards.

It is the children's education and mental health that is at stake.

Parents need to know about this state of affairs - these huge differences in 'understanding' and attitudes where reading instruction is concerned.

By the way, I'm accused of having a different approach to Gordon Askew in some messages. This is not the case.

The danger of people stating their opinion or interpretation via such forums, is that once stated, some people may read the statements and believe them.
Dick Schutz

Re: Didau on Rosen: Discussion about the prevailing multi-cueing reading strategies in England

Postby Dick Schutz » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:35 pm

This typifies the reading debate - back and forth - and no further forwards.

Yep. The question, though, is how to cut through the tis-taint exchange and the squishy terminology. The way is straightforward.

Some schools and classes are achieving near 100% results on the [Alphabetic Code] Screening Check in Yr 1. Whatever they are doing is "right," but there is no verification of what they are doing.

Other LEAs, schools and classes are not teaching all their students how to handle the Code, even after Yr 2. Whatever they are doing is "not right," but again there is no verification of what they are doing.

It doesn't take fancy research to find out what teachers and schools are doing in "teaching reading." They all believe they are doing "right," and they are not reluctant to tell anyone who asks.

Forward, anyone?
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Re: Didau on Rosen: Discussion about the prevailing multi-cueing reading strategies in England

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:02 am

Hi Dick,

I think the next step for England is to look very closely at the schools that are doing so much better than others in the Year One phonics screening check to see what they are doing and what they are not doing.

I'm in the privileged position of visiting schools on 'consultancy' visits. Everywhere I go, the schools are fabulous, the staff members are so hard-working and committed, and the children are fabulous and usually very well-behaved - but when it comes to phonics provision, I see certain patterns commonly and they are not effective enough in many cases - hence why schools are seeking further advice and training.

This is not about teachers not working hard enough, it's usually about children not practising with the right kind of activity, for long enough, and there is often either a lack of blending or a lack of segmenting - or just a sheer lack of either of these in the very short time scale of '20 minute' phonics lessons.

Teachers have been led to believe, however, that 20 minutes is the time required to teach their classes of 30 children, of all descriptions, our very complex English alphabetic code!

Dick - you may have seen my 'graphic' before on which I have described some of the patterns of practice of schools that I have observed, and others I know about or have watched via video footage etc, but this analysis gives an indication of what is happening differently in a sample of schools in England:

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/Sim ... chools.pdf

This goes some way to show that all teachers may say that they 'do' systematic synthetic phonics' in England, but what they actually 'do' can look very different comparing school to school!

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