Thesis Statements Phonics Is Better Than Whole Language

Thesis Statements Phonics Is Better Than Whole Language-50
This feature of synthetic phonics as implemented in Clackmannanshire was clearly explained at the March 2003 seminar by Rhona Johnston in her paper on the 5-year follow-up (Brooks recommended that ‘the advocates of the two positions discuss and analyse this difference of opinion in order to design and mount relevant research’, but nevertheless concluded in his report that the phonics in the NLS was synthetic phonics.

This feature of synthetic phonics as implemented in Clackmannanshire was clearly explained at the March 2003 seminar by Rhona Johnston in her paper on the 5-year follow-up (Brooks recommended that ‘the advocates of the two positions discuss and analyse this difference of opinion in order to design and mount relevant research’, but nevertheless concluded in his report that the phonics in the NLS was synthetic phonics.This was not ready until May 2007, however, so it could have had little or no impact on the teaching children received in the 2006-7 school year.

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The most effective phonics instruction teaches children to identify phonemes in spoken language first, then to understand how these are represented by letters and letter combinations (graphemes)’.

Accordingly, there was a great deal of emphasis on the analysis of spoken words into phonemes but very little on teaching beginners a few letter-shapes and sounds at a time and teaching them to read unfamiliar printed words made up of those correspondences by saying sounds for the letters from left to right and blending the sounds.

In the introduction, a section on ‘What the evidence tells us about the teaching of phonics’ stated that ‘Traditional approaches to phonics instruction i.e.

teaching the sounds that match letters and letter combinations is inefficient and often confusing because of the many hundreds of correspondences involved.

Whole-word and whole-language approaches had dominated before that, and their influence did not disappear overnight, so for that reason and others progress from then on was often erratic.

In 1998, it was just a matter of ‘phonics’, as the term ‘synthetic phonics’ was not yet widely used. Some look-and-say teaching therefore continued, and there was also great emphasis on the ‘searchlights’ model, which presented phonics as just one of several strategies to be used in reading.This was in spite of the fact that Watson and Johnston had reported the previous year that results were particularly good in a classroom where this strategy was taught earlier rather than later or not at all, and that a training study had then confirmed the effectiveness of this approach: pp. By 2003, it was clear that the NLS was not raising standards as had been hoped. Greg Brooks (later a co-author of the 2006 Torgerson, Brooks and Hall review) wrote the following: ‘To what extent, and in what ways, does the phonics element of the National Literacy Strategy need modifying?This was the overarching question for a consultative process undertaken by the Standards and Effectiveness Unit (SEU) of the Department for Education and Skills in early 2003.We therefore strongly urge the Df ES [Department for Education and Skills] to commission a large-scale comparative study comparing the National Literacy Strategy with phonics “fast and first” approaches…’. One very positive outcome of the Education and Skills committee’s report was the setting up of a review of the teaching of early reading to be conducted by Jim Rose.As Rhona Johnston has pointed out, the phrase ‘fast and first’ is important as ‘A later introduction of sounding and blending means that other methods are used first, approaches which often undermine the synthetic phonics approach’ ( …). The other two studies were Johnston and Watson (2004 – Experiment 2) and Skailand (1971), but this last was problematic as it was unpublished and the words used in teaching were beyond beginner level. Andrew Adonis, then Minister of State for Education in the Labour government, was key to this initiative, and also to the subsequent decision to produce the government programme A less positive outcome was that although people on all sides had welcomed the committee’s recommendation of a large-scale comparative study, in the hope that this would settle things once and for all, the study was never done.The approach therefore has an obvious conceptual coherence – a coherence which Brooks himself recognised, at least from 2005 onwards, as is clear from his chapter in the 2017 book There he refers to a meeting in late 2005 at which Carole Torgerson presented the findings to be published in the 2006 Torgerson et al. He writes ‘I was convinced then, and still am, that theory suggests that synthetic phonics is more coherent than analytic phonics as a strategy for young learners working out unfamiliar printed words’ (p. That may suggest that his position had changed between 20: in 2003, he did not regard unscaffolded blending as an essential feature of synthetic phonics, but by 2005 he was apparently thinking of it as central, as in the Johnston et al. He goes on to say, however, that ‘theory can only suggest hypotheses – what is the empirical evidence? It is true that there is not much evidence meeting stringent research criteria apart from that provided by Johnston et al., but in view of that evidence and the conceptual coherence of the approach, it is surprising that few researchers have investigated the impact of teaching unscaffolded sounding and blending from the start.Another development in 2004 was that the cross-party parliamentary Education and Skills committee held a series of hearings on the teaching of reading.teaching which their experimental groups received in 2005-7 was a fair test of synthetic phonics teaching fast and first, as had been implied by the government’s response to the select committee’s report (see above). 47), but Jim Rose and his team also took into account the conceptual coherence of synthetic phonics (‘it teaches children directly what they need to know’ – para. On this basis, they recommended synthetic phonics as the way forward.Unfortunately, this erroneous view has been widely accepted even by people who should know enough about the teaching of reading to understand the issues. That 2006 review had exposed the weaknesses in the NLS searchlights model, and searchlights strategies were warned against in , p.Government ministers accepted this conclusion, which meant that scaffolded blending continued to dominate in the next government-produced programme, thus made little attempt to incorporate the Johnston and Watson findings on early unscaffolded sounding and blending, and this later had unfortunate ramifications in connection with the Early Reading Development Pilot (see below).It is in the earliest stages of reading that children most need a strategy for working words out from the letters, as virtually all the words they encounter are unfamiliar in their printed form.


Comments Thesis Statements Phonics Is Better Than Whole Language

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