Here is the comment I left:
Thank you for this posting – very interesting!
May I suggest, however, that you have a half a picture with regard to developments in England over the past ten years or more.
The other half of the picture is that successive governments have become increasingly committed to promoting the need for teachers to teach ‘systematic synthetic phonics’ explicitly and rigorously – starting from around four years old – to enable far more children to be able to technically ‘lift the words off the page.
Better alphabetic code knowledge and the technical skill of sounding out and blending the sounds to read new words then leads to more children who can ‘read to learn’ and to children who are more likely to want to read. More reading will increase vocabulary significantly as we all know that words in literature are often different from, and more enriched than, spoken language.
Nick Gibb is committed to systematic synthetic phonics which is now embedded in the statutory National Curriculum for English, and he is also committed to promoting a love of reading – pointing out, however, that children are more likely to love reading if they can actually read the words on the page in the first place.
You are right that Nick Gibb and other politicians have taken an interest in American thinkers with regard to the need for knowledge-acquisition through explicit teaching – but knowledge-acquisition is also supported by children’s own reading ability and the politicians have taken an interest in children’s reading ability in a very serious way.