The multi-cueing reading strategies and 'Is reading about getting meaning from print?'

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The multi-cueing reading strategies and 'Is reading about getting meaning from print?'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:56 pm

Bruce Deitrick Price describes some historical background to 'getting meaning from print' and the 'white noise' that this concept brings to the reader: ... Q.facebook

Is Reading about 'Getting Meaning from Print'?

Nowadays, if you want to be promoted to the upper echelons of the Education Establishment, there is one big claim you have to repeat with endless enthusiasm: "Reading is about getting meaning from print." This phrase (and variations of it) is ubiquitous in K-12 education.
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Re: Bruce Deitrick Price: Is reading about getting meaning from print?

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:01 pm

Molly de Lemos writes:

This is a summary of The Use of Context Cues in Reading by Louise Spear-Swerling on LD Online, which includes a list of relevant references for further follow-up.

See ... in_Reading

The continued use of the three cueing system in virtually all schools is a real worry, and I don’t know how we can get the message across that this is not only ineffective but harmful, in that it is directing students’ attention away from what they should actually be focusing on.
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Re: The multi-cueing reading strategies and 'Is reading about getting meaning from print?'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:13 pm

Dr Kerry Hempenstall kindly provided this information via the DDOLL network during a discussion on the use of decodable readers:

Here’s a start on decodable text:

Bear in mind that the importance of decodable text has not yet reached empirical consensus, even though it makes sense theoretically. There are many elements in the reading program that interact with the choice of text types, including the degree that synthetic phonics is taught, the developmental status of the reader, and the decodability level of the text (60% decodable? 90%?) .

“Collectively the results indicate that decodability is a critical characteristic of early reading text as it increases the likelihood that students will use a decoding strategy and results in immediate benefits, particularly with regard to accuracy” (p.1).
“Many researchers believe decodable texts play a critical role in the development of word recognition skills because they provide students with opportunities to practice and apply decoding skills (NICHHD, 2000; Snow et al., 1998). When students read decodable texts they can more readily apply their knowledge of letters and sounds, making it more likely that they will process all of the letters within words and develop fully specified orthographic representations of words. Recognizing words in this way allows the reader to focus mental energy on comprehension rather than word recognition”.

Cheatham, J.P., & Allor, J.H. (2012). The influence of decodability in early reading text on reading achievement: A review of the evidence. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 25(9), 2223-2246.

"Research asserts that most children benefit from direct instruction in decoding, complemented by practice with simply written decodable stories. Further, for some children this sort of systematic approach is critical. Stories should 'fit' the child's reading level. Beginning readers should be able to read easily 90 percent or more of the words in a story.”
Federal Academics 2000 (Public Law 103-227), "First Things First"

Beverly, B.L., Giles, R.M., & Buck, K.L. (2009). First-grade reading gains following enrichment: Phonics plus decodable texts compared to authentic literature read aloud. Reading Improvement, 46(4) 191

“Using the instructional consistency model, California and Texas established 75-80% as a minimum for text to be identified as "decodable" (Foorman et al., 2004). Historically analyses of the instructional consistency in decodable texts has ranged but rarely dipped below about 60% or reached as high as 90% (Beck & Block, 1979; Hoffman et al., 2003; Jenkins et al., 2004; Reutzel & Daines, 1987). Two recent analyses of Year 2000 Basal Packages, many of which responded to the state "decodability" policies, indicated that today's decodable texts ranged from 37-79% decodable (Foorman et al., 2004; Stein, Johnson, & Gutlohn; 1999)” (p.23).
Mesmer, H.A.E. (2010). Textual scaffolds for developing fluency in beginning readers: Accuracy and reading rate in qualitatively leveled and decodable text. Literacy Research and Instruction, 49(1), 20-39.

“Explicit phonics instruction and reading practice with decodable text can be a prerequisite to successful comprehension for beginning readers” (p.191).

Beverly, B.L., Giles, R.M., & Buck, K.L. (2009). First-grade reading gains following enrichment: Phonics plus decodable texts compared to authentic literature read-aloud. Reading Improvement; 46(4), 191-205.

“As they learn to master the alphabetic code, children should be given reading material that is well within their reach in the form of 'decodable books'... Using such books as part of the phonic programme does not preclude other reading. Indeed it can be shown that such books help children develop confidence and an appetite for reading more widely” (Rose Report 2006. para 82).

“The results obtained with these 394 children at the end of their first school year reveal for the first time that, of all the factors that can affect reading comprehension (e.g. spoken language characteristics, attention span, memorization capacity, etc., adding up to 100%), decoding ability accounted for 34%, oral comprehension 8.9% and vocabulary 4.5%. These figures are significant, showing the importance of these three skills for children to understand what they read.”
CNRS (2013, November 22). Decoding, oral comprehension, vocabulary: Three key literacy skills for primary schools in priority areas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from ... 103658.htm

“The question about decodable text, then, is whether or not we should give children texts matched to their correspondence knowledge. If children have no available correspondences, no text is decodable for them. They do have the alternative of predictable texts, which are fun to read and excellent instructional texts for teaching print concepts and meaning vocabulary. Shared reading (i.e., cued recitation) with predictable texts may provide opportunities to teach common function words by rote, supplying necessary words for reading any text. However, cued recitation does not provide the spelling analysis of decoding, and therefore we cannot expect children to learn the identities of the words in predictable texts. For children who have learned some correspondences, restricting the vocabulary of texts to words they can decode has great benefits. With decodable texts, the strategy of identifying words by sounding out and blending works better than available alternatives (guessing from phonetic cues, text memorization, using illustrations, memorizing spellings by rote, etc.). Because decoding works, children will rely on a decoding strategy. Decoding makes learning sight words roughly nine times easier than rote memorization; children can learn about nine sight words by decoding with the same effort it takes to learn a single word by rote (Gates, 1931; Reitsma, 1983).

Juel and Roper/Schneider (1985) provided some evidence that using decodable text induces a decoding strategy. They found that children who had only been taught short-vowel correspondences but who had worked in decodable text were able to use long-vowel correspondences in decoding unfamiliar words. Juel and Roper/Schneider surmised that the type of words in texts may be as powerful as the method of instruction. Phonics without decodable text is isolated--it works only with words, not with stories. If phonics works to decode text, phonics is integrated. Beginning readers appreciate and remember correspondences because they work in constructing the meaning of texts; e.g., when they learn the oa correspondence, they can read the next story, "The Boat Made of Soap." This in turn motivates the extensive and difficult work of phonics.

Teachers are also willing to invest more effort in explicit phonics instruction when learning a new correspondence enables children to read stories successfully. Their children’s success motivates their teaching efforts. Well-crafted phonics instruction provides children with the tools they need to identify the words and construct the meaning of stories, but only if children read carefully matched decodable texts … Because decoding works, children will rely on a decoding strategy. Decoding makes learning sight words roughly nine times easier than rote memorization; children can learn about nine sight words by decoding with the same effort it takes to learn a single word by rote (Gates, 1931; Reitsma, 1983)”.

B. Murray, B. ( no date). Using decodable text. Retrieved from
There are plenty of decodable texts available as a Google search will show. The rick is to select texts that are appropriate for the students’ current decoding skill.

Norbert Rennert created a website that allows you to create completely decodable wordlists in English. The page is easy to use as you only need to select which letters you want the words to have and the page displays them for you. "Decodable" can mean different things to different people, but this is how I use it. A word is decodable if all the spelling patterns in the word have been taught explicitly before to the student. My page makes sure that all the words contain only letters that are selected (and therefore can be assumed to have been taught to the student) and that each word contains the letter (or letters) you selected last. Thus each list can focus on a single spelling unit. You can also create cumulative word lists at any time. You can control for syllable length and random sort order. You can create a writing exercise page from each word list.

Home page for English:

The page mentioned above is the SynPhony Prototype for English.

There are several help pages for that page, located at the top right hand corner of the page. Please look at them to get the most out of the page.

Norbert Rennert

Susan Godsland listed ten reasons why beginner readers should use only decodable books.
“10 reasons why beginning readers should only use decodable books:

1. Decodable books are consistent with the synthetic phonics reading method; they go from simple to complex, use only explicitly taught code and illustrations are designed to avoid acting as clues to text. Taught code is used throughout words, rather than first letter emphasis, to ensure that transitivity is well understood. Sounding out is the only strategy required to read the words.
2. Whole-language/Banded books give child a misleading idea of what reading entails i.e. that it is a memorising and (psycholinguistic) guessing game.
3. In order to become expert readers and spellers, children need to know the complete Alphabet Code and the skills of blending and segmenting to automaticity. To ensure this, they need to be taught the code and the skills directly, discretely and systematically. Decodable books give them the necessary direct practice in newly taught code and skills.
4. There is no way of knowing which particular children entering a reception class have poor visual memories or low, natural phonological ability. These children are likely to become struggling ‘dyslexic’ readers if whole-language books are used at first. Children with good visual memories plus a supportive home background may appear to do well, initially, with whole-language books, BUT see 5.
5. Decodable books avoid children developing the bad habit of sight word guessing. This can be difficult to change when they get older and the brain less ‘plastic’. Those with good visual memories will develop this habit quickly and easily through the use of predictable, repetitive text. Eventually their memory for sight words will reach its limit and if they haven’t, in the meantime, been taught or deduced the complete alphabet code for themselves they will struggle to read advanced texts with novel words and no illustrations.
6. Repetitive texts are boring; predictable texts, that a child can only struggle through by misreading and guessing, resulting in lost comprehension, are discouraging. Both types of books can put a child off reading. ‘Attitudes to reading in England are poor compared to those of children in many other countries’ and ‘Children in England read for pleasure less frequently than their peers in many other countries’ (Pirls 2006) These findings are from the time when whole-language books were used as the basis for reading instruction in nearly all schools.
7. The use of decodable books is only necessary for a short period in the foundation stage. When well taught, most children learn the code quickly, begin to self-teach and can then move on to real books rather than being stuck for several years on reading schemes with the restricted word count necessary to ensure adequate memorisation of the high frequency words.
8. Good spelling is aided by the use of decodables -see
9. Ease of decoding from the earliest days by simply sounding out and blending gives children quick success, ensuring long term enthusiasm for reading.
10. Parents easily understand the logic of decodable books and are more able and willing to help their children practise reading at home.”
For levelled reading,

Start with Levelled books for guided reading by Alison Clarke at ... d-reading/

Also see Tim Shanahan’s: Shanahan on Literacy : Rejecting Instructional Level Theory ... ch-results

Pondiscio, R. & Mahnken, K. (2014). Leveled reading: The making of a literacy myth. ... eracy-myth
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Re: The multi-cueing reading strategies and 'Is reading about getting meaning from print?'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:38 pm

When asked about the provision of books in the beginner readers' context, here are some of my thoughts:

What really matters for a ‘reading scheme’ is whether the books are intended for children to attempt to read INDEPENDENTLY or not.

Children need as much exposure to books and their language and information as possible that is age appropriate.

This can be done through all sorts of books – any 'type' of books might provide the nuances of the rich English language and knowledge and understanding of the world.

Teachers can read to the children whilst they have their own copies of the books to look at (meaning the ‘same’ books in a group or class reading scenario) - and then they can take part in a rich language discussion about the book and about its contents.

BUT, for books which are first and foremost intended to be ‘read by the children’ they really need to be decodable – matching the phonics they are being taught in the class.

And even then some children may need support.

In providing a rationale for reading material in an educational context, I think I would bring the above rationale into the picture as it is the teachers’ use of the books and their professional understanding that is key.

If any 'type' of books, provide rich content – language, information, concepts – fine – but they should not be used in a multi-cueing way and the teacher needs to lead the way in any reading sessions as required and appropriate.

But, if the aim of the project is to provide books specifically for reading by the child, then decodable books are essential for the ‘list’ for beginner-readers and readers who are struggling.

Teachers can always organise a simple labelling system on existing books – by some form of marking that indicates they should be ‘adult-led’ or might require 'adult support' rather than for ‘independent’ reading.
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Re: The multi-cueing reading strategies and 'Is reading about getting meaning from print?'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:23 am

Molly de Lemos observed this about multi-cueing which is often known as '3 cueing':

Approaches that include 3 cueing may differ dramatically in other variables, as would models that emphasise decoding. However, since most of the 3 cueing devotees belong loosely to the whole language camp you could suggest Hattie’s findings regarding whole language and phonics may be worth considering:

Phonics instruction - rank: 27; no. of studies: 447; no. of effect sizes: 5990 Average effect size: 0.58
Whole language – rank: 129; no. of studies: 64; no. of effect sizes 197; Average effect size: 0.06

There is the Primary National Strategy in England:

"...attention should be focused on decoding words rather than the use of unreliable
strategies such as looking at the illustrations, rereading the sentence, saying the first
sound or guessing what might 'fit'. Although these strategies might result in intelligent
guesses, none of them is sufficiently reliable and they can hinder the acquisition and
application of phonic knowledge and skills, prolonging the word recognition process and
lessening children's overall understanding. Children who routinely adopt alternative cues
for reading unknown words, instead of learning to decode them, later find themselves
stranded when texts become more demanding and meanings less predictable.
(Primary National Strategy, 2006b, p.9)."

Thank you to Kerry Hempenstall for this collection of links and quotes re the 'three-cueing system':

Some reviews: ... er-go-away

See also Spear-Swerling, L. (2006). The use of context cues in reading. LDOnline. Retrieved from

See also Wren’s piece at

Some quotes:

“Goodman (1976) assumes that the grapho-phonic system is only utilised when semantic and syntactic cues are unavailable, and that less skilled readers spend most of their time relying on the visual and sound properties to decode text. The findings of this study are more consistent with those researchers who have found that poorer readers have difficulty grasping letter-sound correspondence rules (e.g. Coltheart & Prior, 2006; Elderedge, 2005; Vellutino, Fletcher, Snowling & Scanlon, 2004; Westwood, 2004; De Lemos, 2002; Adams, 1990). Therefore, children with poor letter-sound awareness skills are more likely to be reading below grade expectations. This was supported by the finding that children who are not reading in accordance with grade expectations appear to be relying significantly less on the visual and sound properties of text compared with their more skilled peers. It is possible that this is one aspect of their reading that is restricting their progress.

This study revealed that children who were reading at or above grade expectations were more likely to make use of graphic and phonic cues when they approached an unfamiliar word in a text. As has been suggested (e.g. De Lemos, 2002; Adams, 1990) the ability to decode graphic and phonic information is a reliable determinant of higher reading ability. Therefore, these findings suggest that Goodman and colleagues may have underestimated the role of the grapho-phonic cueing system and overestimated the role of the semantic and syntactic cueing systems in relation to differentiating reading ability”.

Through the use of Miscue Analysis, this study has demonstrated that Average and Above Average readers used the grapho-phonic cueing system, or letter-sound correspondence rules, to a greater extent than Below Average readers when faced with unfamiliar text. It has also been demonstrated that students have better control over syntactical cues when the text is easier for them. However, the use of the semantic cueing system was not significantly greater for any one reading ability group or any particular level of text difficulty. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that supports the critical contribution of phonics skills to grade appropriate reading and decoding more difficult texts”.

Beatty, L., & E. Care. (2009). Learning from their miscues: Differences across reading ability and text difficulty. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy 32(3), 226-244. Retrieved from ... 0210520844

“The scientific evidence is simply overwhelming that letter-sound cues are more important in recognizing words than either semantic or syntactic cues.” (p.16).

Pressley, M. (1998). Reading instruction that works: The case for balanced teaching. New York: Guilford.

“In the world of practice, the widespread subscription to the belief system that the three-cueing diagram has come to represent has wreaked disaster on students and hardship on teachers. At the same time, it is the underlying cause of not insignificant distrust and ill-will between teachers, teacher educators, and researchers. Yet, while teachers widely believe that the lore of the three-cueing system is based on the best of current research, researchers are barely aware of its existence, nature, or influence. The lesson of the story is thus clear and urgent. We must work together to rebuild the bridge, socially and intellectually, between those involved in research and practice”0

Adams, M.J. (1998). The three-cueing system. In F. Lehr and J. Osborn (Eds.), Literacy for all: Issues in teaching and learning. New York: Guilford Press.

“Contextual guessing strategies are supported by the cueing systems model of word recognition which has no basis in reading science. According to this theory, students are said to use grapho-phonic cues, semantic or meaning cues, and syntax or contextual cues to recognize words. In practice, the emphasis is on anything but the links between speech sounds and spelling. Unfortunately, balanced literacy students are learning strategies that poor readers rely on, not what good readers know” (p. 20).

Moats, L. (2007). Whole language highjinks: How to tell when “scientifically-based reading instruction” isn’t. Retrieved from Thomas B. Fordham Institute website: ... ts2007.pdf

“Researchers acknowledge that context is important in proficient reading. The question is when and how it is used. Our best conceptualization of the reading process suggests that context is used after a word is located in memory. It helps us determine which meaning is the one intended by the author. In our example, the word horse is unconsciously identified without resorting to context, but only through context could you know that the author intended to refer to an animal (as opposed to a clothes horse, a saw horse, or just horsing around). For beginning and struggling readers, however, context can play an additional role. Stanovich (1980) proposed a model suggesting that poor decoders attempt to use context not only to decide among multiple meanings but also to locate a word in memory in the first place. In other words, they rely on context to compensate for weak word recognition skills, but they soon discover that context is an unreliable crutch on which to lean.

Implications for effective practice

The evidence of research leads us to believe that miscue analysis can serve a useful but limited role in reading assessment. We suggest three main implications for effective practice. First, we recommend the continued use of error totals, based on informal reading inventories and running records, for the explicit purpose of deter mining a student's instructional and independent reading levels. This use allows teachers to guide students toward appropriate text selections. Established criteria dating as far back as Betts (1946) have proved reliable for this purpose. However, we cannot recommend the use of semantically acceptable miscue tallies, which lack a foundation in research.

Second, teachers should view meaningful miscues (like substituting pony for horse) as evidence of inadequate decoding skills, and not as an end result to be fostered. Because beginning readers will attempt to compensate for weak decoding by reliance on context, teachers should instruct them in how to use the graphophonic, semantic, and syntactic cueing systems to support early reading. This often takes the form of teacher feedback. When a child struggles to read a word, the teacher responds with prompts such as "What's the first sound?" "Is there a part of the word you know?" "You said_. Does that make sense?" We have placed the context prompt last for a reason? it should be the child's last resort, not the first. "A major failing" of instruction that places the three cueing systems on equal footing is that it ignores the fact that one of the systems "is more central and important" than the others (Rayner & Pollatsek, 1989, p. 351).

Third, miscue analysis provides a look at a child's relative use of graphophonic and contextu al cues. Teachers should study miscues to monitor their students' progress toward relying more and more on decoding. Miscue analysis can do little, however, to identify skill needs in the area of word recognition, because those needs are not systematically assessed through oral reading and because they may be masked by reliance on context (Walpole & McKenna, 2006). Teachers have bet ter methods of assessing decoding skill needs” (p.379).

McKenna, M.C., & Cournoyer, M. (2007). Revisiting the role of miscue analysis in effective teaching. The Reading Teacher, (60)4 378-380.

“Scaffolding errors" (errors which accurately represented the initial and final letters but not the vowels of words, e.g., 'bat' for 'boat') were positively correlated with accurate word reading ability, whereas other responses such as non-phonological errors (such as 'milk' for 'lorry') were not correlated with accurate word reading ability. These results have also been broadly replicated in subsequent correlational studies (Laxon, Masterson, & Moran, 1994; Savage, 1998; Savage & Stuart, 1998; Stuart, 1990). Scaffolding errors – when an error shares some or most of the sounds of the target word (e.g., 'bark' misread as 'bank') is a strong predictor of reading success. Errors that retain meaning but not initial and final phonemes (“people” for “crowd”) were not correlated with accurate word reading ability.

Savage, R., Stuart, M. & Hill, V. (2001). The role of scaffolding errors in reading development: Evidence from a longitudinal and a correlational study. The British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 1-13.

“During reading, the decoding of words always takes place before the understanding of words, sentences or whole texts. Sophisticated eye movement and brain research [event related potential (ERP) studies] have convincingly demonstrated this. The eyes fixate on a word for about 250 milliseconds. During this time, a number of processes occur close together in time, but nevertheless, in a set sequence. The visual shape of each letter is recognised, each letter is translated into its sound equivalent, the sounds are assembled together to arrive at a mental sound equivalent for the whole word, and finally, the meaning of the word is accessed.

Semantic processing occurs last (e.g. Lee, Rayner & Pollatsek, 1999: Sereno, Rayner, & Posner, 1998; Perry & Ziegler, 2002). As readers become more adept, instead of letter-by-letter symbol-to-sound translation occurring in a series, it has been shown that this process speeds up, and gradually groups of letters, common spelling patterns, and high frequency words begin to be recognised all at once, in parallel (Aghababian & Nazir, 2000; Jared, Levy & Rayner, 1999).

Pictures and guessing play no part in any of the word reading processes that occur. Nor is the use of context among the processes that occurs during an initial eye fixation. Only after an initial eye fixation occurs, and only on the occasions where word meaning is in doubt, do the eyes regress back over the preceding text to use context as an aid to meaning. These particular regressions constitute a post reading strategy that may occur afterwards: in effect, a non-reading strategy used to confirm meaning, not to extract it in the first place”.

Macmillan, B. (2002). An evaluation of the Government's Early Intervention Initiative: The Early Literacy Support programme. Reading Reform Foundation Newsletter, 49.

Retrieved from ... eNumber=49

“In another recent meta-analysis, Hattie (2009) found a moderate difference in effect size between code-based instruction and meaning-based instruction. Hattie summarized 14 meta-analyses involving 6,000 students and found that code- based instruction had a medium effect (average effect size 0.60). He summarized four meta-analyses of meaning-based instruction teaching involving over 600 students and found, by way of contrast, that meaning-based instruction had an almost nil effect size (average effect size 0.06). To give an idea of the difference you could argue that meaning-based instruc- tion teachers would have to work ten times as hard as code-based instruction teachers to get the same results. Other meta-analyses support Hattie’s conclusion (Ehri, Nunes, Stahl, & Willows, 2001; Torgerson, Brooks, & Hall, 2006). Hattie concluded about code-based instruction that, “Overall, phonological instruction is powerful in the process of learning to read, both for reading skills and for reading comprehension” (p. 134), and for meaning-based instruction that, “In summary, meaning-based instruction programs have negligible effects on learning to read, be it on word recognition or on comprehension. Such methods might be of value to later reading but certainly not for the processes of learning to read; it appears that strategies of reading need to be deliberately taught, especially to students older, struggling to read” (p. 138). …

These studies have showed positive results for phonological recoding instruction (which is what the term “decoding” refers to in this introduction) but it still leaves open the question of whether or not the use of meaning-based instruction would be just as effective as phonological recoding instruction for older, struggling readers. It is an empirical question, though many practitioners think that a meaning-based tutoring program is unlikely to be effective with very poor readers because of the average poor reader’s reliance on contextual strategies to guess unknown words, a strategy that holds them back, compared with good readers, who have much better word recognition skills, good enough for them to use context clues productively for decoding, something poor readers are unable to do any- where near as well (Stanovich, 1986; Juel, 1988, 1994; Tunmer & Chapman, 1999; Nicholson, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1991; Nicholson & Tunmer, 2011; Tunmer & Nicholson, 2011).

Nicholson, T. (2011). Theme editor’s summary. The International Dyslexia Association Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 37(4), 7-14.

“A child who has difficulty decoding some words may still be assessed as making effective use of visual information if there is any visual connection between the child’s errors and the correct words” (p. 248). Regardless of the quality of any reading errors, teachers should still recognize (when analyzing running records) that word reading errors are by definition, still incorrect responses and therefore, the problem should be viewed first and foremost, as one of inadequate decoding. In support of this concern (even when errors retain full meaning), McKenna and Picard (2006) also note that “teachers should view meaningful miscues (like substituting pony for horse) as evidence of inadequate decoding skills and not as an end result to be fostered” (p. 399).

Greaney, K.T. (2011). The multiple cues or “Searchlights” word reading theory: Implications for Reading Recovery®. The International Dyslexia Association Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 37(4), 15-21.

McKenna, M. C., & Picard, M. (2006/2007). Does miscue analysis have a role in effective practice? The Reading Teacher, 60, 378–380.

”80% of the preservice teachers and 74% of the inservice teachers agreed that the most beneficial strategy for identifying an unknown word was to use the context to figure it out. Both groups agreed that a teacher should not be concerned when early readers' miscues do not alter meaning (76% preservice; 79% inservice). Only 22% of the preservice and 36% of the inservice teachers recognized that phonological awareness involves oral language and is not a method of reading instruction.

Mather, N., Bos, C., & Babur, N. (2001). Perceptions and knowledge of preservice and inservice teachers about early literacy instruction. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 34, 472-482.

Research has found that readers make extensive use of visual information. Skilled readers do this with great speed and efficiency, perhaps giving the impression that they are only sampling the text. In reality, however, they are processing nearly all of the available visual information (Adams, 1990). Beginning readers who pay attention to print detail are likely to show higher progress than children who depend on meaning and structure cues (Biemiller, 1979; Nicholson, 1993). Encouraging children to attend to visual information assists their reading because “the most effective way to become automatic with a particular word is to initially decode it – to consciously process both the letter patterns and the sounds the first few times it is read” (Honig, 2001, p. 63).

Biemiller, A. (1979). Changes in the use of graphic and contextual information as functions of difficulty and reading achievement level. Journal of Reading Behavior, 11, 307-318.

Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, M.A.: MIT Press.

Honig, B. (2001). Teaching our children to read (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Nicholson, T. (1993). The case against context. In G. B. Thompson, W. E. Tunmer, & T. Nicholson (Eds.), Reading acquisition processes (pp91-104). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
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Re: The multi-cueing reading strategies and 'Is reading about getting meaning from print?'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:10 pm

The separation of discrete phonics teaching and the practise of reading: ... rehension/


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Re: The multi-cueing reading strategies and 'Is reading about getting meaning from print?'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:13 pm

Mike Lloyd-Jones writes about the damage of 'mixed methods' (that is, multi-cueing) in his blog posting:

The Reading Wars Redefined ... ed/7880796

...In my book Phonics and the Resistance to Reading I suggest that perhaps at its heart the ‘reading wars’ are not really an argument about teaching methods at all. In the course of the book I analyse the ‘mixed methods’ around which the critics of phonics piously congregate and show that these methods have been the standard approach to the teaching of reading in this country for at least a hundred years. I also show that over the same period surveys have repeatedly identified that this approach to the teaching of reading results in the exclusion of a large section of the population from functional literacy. This link between the anti-phonics support for ‘mixed methods’ and the evidence about the way in which those methods fail, strikes me as being at least suggestive that there might be more to the reading wars than first appears...

Mike's book is available via Kindle for only 99p!

I, and others, highly recommend the reading of Mike's very readable, short book.

John Walker reviews Mike's book: ... blism.html

My review of Mike's book: ... f=1&t=5953

My youtube video reviewing reading instruction which features Mike's book:
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Re: The multi-cueing reading strategies and 'Is reading about getting meaning from print?'

Postby Dick Schutz » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:40 pm

So what has changed in the three years (minus 1 month) since Mike's book was published?

The "resistance" changes its pitch just enough to maintain dominance. "Phonics" is now almost universally conceded as "important."--("It always has been recognized as a 'reading strategy'--one of several.") So "mixed methods" still rules, and reading is still popularly viewed as "extracting meaning from text." "Reading failures" are still almost universally attributed to kids or their parents rather than to instruction.
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Re: The multi-cueing reading strategies and 'Is reading about getting meaning from print?'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:03 pm

So what has changed in the three years (minus 1 month) since Mike's book was published?

Now, THAT is the question!


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