The Rose Report is out. (Thanks to Susan Godsland who was quick enough out of the traps to post this on the RRF website.) I haven’t had time to read all of it yet online and, when I rang them to ask for hard copy, the government department wasn’t able to send me one. It… Continue reading The Rose Report is out!
Is the teaching of reading and spelling any better in the United States? Not apparently in Indiana. This report makes depressing reading (Thanks to Nurture A Reader for the link to the report). Yet, what the report makes clear is that turning the situation around is perfectly straighforward: teach systematic phonics from the start on… Continue reading Is the teaching of reading any better in the States?
What is Boris Johnson’s answer to the problem of teaching children to read and spell? In an interview with Mary Wakefield in the Spectator this week, he was asked: You’ve said that the most important political issue facing Britain is that too many children leave school without the basics of reading, writing and maths. How… Continue reading Boris Johnson on reading
Did you read Harriet Sergeant’s piece in the MailOnline? It asks why bright children from poor families aren’t making it to universities. The problem, she says, begins in the primary schools, ‘where children from poor backgrounds are no longer learning to read’.Leaving aside the fact that it isn’t just children from poor backgrounds who are… Continue reading ‘It’s enough to make you weep’ says Harriet Sergeant .
Two postings ago I wrote that English literacy teaching practices seem to be based on belief systems rather than high quality evidence-based research. This assertion deserves further clarification. One overarching belief that needs tackling is that the achievement of basic literacy skills happens as a result of what is taught in schools. Curiously, out of… Continue reading Cause and effect
In the preceding blog postings, I have tried to focus attention on what are fairly straightforward ideas:1) First, human beings invented speech and language.2) Later on, for a variety of practical reasons, writing was invented as a means of consistently and accurately recording speech/language.3) Various approaches to developing accurate writing systems were tried but the… Continue reading What is to be done?
As Usha Goswami made clear (see my post ‘Research on reading‘) written language is a representation of spoken language. In other words, written language was invented to stand for the sounds in speech. Wherever you go in the world, humans speak and listen. However, not all societies possess writing: they simply don’t have writing systems… Continue reading Written and spoken language