non-words · Nonsense Word Sound Swap · Phonics screening check

The whys and hows of using non-words.

Ever since the Phonics Screening Check was introduced, an argument has raged around the introduction of non-words as a means by which to test the literacy of children in Y1 (aged five to six years). Sounds-Write has been using non-words in an activity/game called Nonsense Word Sound Swap for many years. The activity involves asking… Continue reading The whys and hows of using non-words.

non-words · nonsense words · pseudo words · Scarlett · UKLA

Red faces at UKLA as Scarlett reads and spells non-words

Literacy ‘experts’ maintain that testing children on made-up words confuses children and that they can’t read or spell words that aren’t real. As I’ve argued repeatedly, see here and here, they are talking utter claptrap. Well, I thought, I’m sure my friend’s daughter Scarlett would love to show them just how wrong they are:… Continue reading Red faces at UKLA as Scarlett reads and spells non-words

BBC · Independent · non-words · pseudo words

Please Miss, what’s a Grinch?

Why are education journalists such dupes? Once again, this time in the pages of the Independent and on the BBC website, education journalists have swallowed the nonsense propagated by ‘literacy experts’ who are calling on the government to abandon the planned tests of reading for six-year-olds. The opposition to the tests is in truth an attack on the… Continue reading Please Miss, what’s a Grinch?

'Time-limited' teaching of phonics · non-words · Warwick Mansell

Alas poor Warwick!

Sadly, Warwick Mansell’s piece in Monday’s Guardian rehearses all those old chestnuts about phonics teaching that have been discredited time without end. Although it makes some pretence at balance, it is shot through with the kind of ignorance about what phonics teaching is that one would normally find in the TES. Mansell tell us that… Continue reading Alas poor Warwick!