Reading lessons: why synthetic phonics doesn’t work

Source: The Guardian Teacher Network. As World Book Day approaches, academic Andrew Davis argues that the synthetic phonics check isn't an appropriate way to teach or assess reading among primary students. Current government policy concerning reading favours synthetic phonics (SP), where children learn to recognise letters with their associated sounds – and how to blend those sounds to "read" the "words". The revised national curriculum, coming into force from September 2014, requires reception and year 1 students to be taught SP. Students aren't meant to get help from clues such as context, meaning or illustration. It's difficult to gauge how rigidly this will be enforced, but the situation certainly suggests there'll be a significant increase in pressure on schools and teachers to conform.  Continue reading here.

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