Dr Marlynne Grant comments on Dr Jonathan Solity's Optima reading programme

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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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Dr Marlynne Grant comments on Dr Jonathan Solity's Optima reading programme

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:51 pm

Have you seen the guest blog posting by Dr Marlynne Grant? If not, you may find it very interesting:

http://www.iferi.org/the-optima-reading ... nne-grant/

The Optima Reading Programme by Dr Jonathan Solity: Does it Provide Optimal Results? A Paper by Dr Marlynne Grant

Recently Dr Jonathan Solity reported on his critical analysis of the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.1 This has thrown a spotlight on his own programme for teaching reading, which was developed first as ERR (Early Reading Research), later known as KRM, and currently as Optima.

Having watched the video on the Optima website (2016) (2) http://optimapsychology.com/find-out-mo ... ory-video/ I was struck by the many similarities to the systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) teaching with which I am familiar:
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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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Re: Dr Marlynne Grant comments on Dr Jonathan Solity's Optima reading programme

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:09 am

Here is a very interesting guest post by Professor Anne Castles on 'sight words' which references Dr Solity's work (via the Read Oxford blog). The post was followed up my many content-rich responses - well worth a peruse:

http://readoxford.org/guest-blog-are-si ... y-slighted

Are sight words unjustly slighted?

July 1, 2016

What is meant by ‘sight word reading’? It’s a term that seems to mean different things to different people, leading to misunderstandings and confusion. We asked Professor Anne Castles to share with us what the evidence says about sight word reading.


"Phonics first and phonics fast. Few would now question this mantra or challenge the view that explicit phonics teaching is at the core of any effective initial reading program. But I have noticed an unfortunate side effect of the increasing acceptance of the primacy of phonics. This is the belief that any literacy activity in the early school years that is not phonics must be harmful to children’s learning. This is understandable: the battle to reinstate phonics has been hard fought and none of us wants to see its benefits diluted. But I think it is important that we not let the phonics focus cloud our judgments about other methods that may further improve reading outcomes for children..."
Dick Schutz

Re: Dr Marlynne Grant comments on Dr Jonathan Solity's Optima reading programme

Postby Dick Schutz » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:21 pm

What is meant by ‘sight word reading’? It’s a term that seems to mean different things to different people, leading to misunderstandings and confusion.

Unfortunately, there are oodles of other terms that share this characteristic: phonics, exception words/tricky words, real words, comprehension, awareness--to name a few. The thing is, the terms are embedded so deeply in the parlance of EdLand that it really isn't feasible to "clarify" the terms--no one is interested in listening, except possibly students listening to their professors who themselves are largely mistaken and confused.

A better bet is to apply Occam's razor to the terms and deal with the history and substance of the English Alphabetic Code; if and when that is more widely understood, the edu/psychobabble consequences will diminish if not totally atrophy.
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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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Re: Dr Marlynne Grant comments on Dr Jonathan Solity's Optima reading programme

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:42 am

Here is a great post by Alison Clarke via her excellent Spelfabet site - and I've added a comment which I hope is a helpful suggestion:

http://www.spelfabet.com.au/2012/07/tea ... ent-116728

Teaching Sight Words

The scientific literacy research shows conclusively that synthetic phonics (building words from sounds) is the best way to teach early literacy. Prime Minister Gillard (when she was Education Minister) declared that phonics had won the reading wars.

However, many Australian schools are still starting off teaching five-year-olds literacy by getting them to memorise lists of “sight words”, and encouraging them to try to independently read books containing lots of words that are simply too hard for them.

This is disappointing, but I guess old habits are hard to change. Sight words/whole language is what most teachers were taught at university, and schools are still full of teaching materials based on this philosophy, so change was never going to happen overnight.

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