Literacy specialist John Bald makes reference to Stephen Krashen and Jonathan Solity (see message two places above this one) in his piece for Conservative Home
https://www.conservativehome.com/localg ... -work.html
John Bald: The alternative to phonics is guessing – which does not work
Our opponents were soon on the case, represented by Professor Steven Krashen from Southern California and Dr Jonathan Solity, followed by an ill-informed session on the BBC Daily Politics, presented by Jo Coburn and featuring Professor Sandra McNally of the LSE as the sceptic.
Professor Krashen’s theory of language learning – he calls it acquisition – has done great damage to language learning in schools, and neither he nor Professor McNally have carried out research into the teaching of reading. Dr Solity has his own reading scheme, which makes extensive use of learning words at sight and “real books”. In the BBC programme, Professor McNally was not challenged on her assertion that the benefits of phonics were washed out by the time children were 11 – the research shows otherwise – while Jo Coburn hit rock bottom with her comment that “everybody has learned to read in the past”. I replayed the clip to check that she really did say this. Professor McNally also produced the old chestnut about “different types of phonics”, as if there were no essential distinction to be made between the blending and word-building of the government’s approach, and word-breaking and guessing from the first letter used in “analytic phonics”.
I would like to comment, however, that John Bald is not entirely accurate in his description of practice about letters 't' and 'h' combined as 'th'. There may well be phonics programmes that introduce the word 'the' as a whole word, but they also
teach the letter group 'th' as code for two sounds - voiced and unvoiced - as in the words 'th
umb'. John writes somewhat mistakenly:
One complication of early reading is that many of the most frequent words in the language cannot be blended by using the most frequent sound represented by one letter at a time. T in cat does not represent the same sound as the t in the, when it is combined with h. The standard approach is to teach these words as “sight” words, requiring children to suspend what they have just been taught. Most manage this, but a lot don’t, and I frequently have to teach children whose idea of phonics is sounding out each letter of a word and then trying to put them together – I currently have three such pupils.
I suggest that if learners do not recognise 'th' as a discrete letter group, this could reflect weak phonics teaching and weak practice, not necessarily the lack of introducing 'th' as a letter group in phonics programmes.
I agree whole-heartedly with John when he recommends this practice:
The solution is not to ask the child to suspend belief, but to add words like “usually”, or “most of the time” to the early teaching, and then to explain what happens when letters don’t behave as we expect.
I promote the following phrase when necessary to teach specific letter/s-sound correspondences of the alphabetic code: 'in this
word' or 'in some
words' or 'in these
With this flexible approach in mind, I promote 'two-pronged systematic and incidental phonics teaching
' and this is underpinned by the constant use of overview Alphabetic Code Charts. I've written about incidental phonics provision and the use of Alphabetic Code Charts:http://www.phonicsinternational.com/Deb ... andout.pdf
And although we're wandering off topic somewhat, I've provided a link to a wide range of free Alphabetic Code Charts for various users and uses here:http://alphabeticcodecharts.com/free_charts.html