Evaluating phonics provision: What does high-quality phonics ...
Debbie Hepplewhite MBE FRSA Author of Phonics International Phonics Consultant for Oxford Reading Tree Floppys Phonics Sounds and Letters (OUP) Debbie Hepplewhite Synthetic Phonics Training and Consultancy Services [email protected]
Debbie Hepplewhite MBE FRSA Organisations/Networks: UK Reading Reform Foundation rrf.org.uk Developmental Disorders of Language and Literacy (DDOLL) Network Group International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction iferi.org Associate of Educators International educatorsinternational.org.uk
researchED London Primary Literacy Day April 2015 Its high time to change the perception of phonics from baby stuff to adult stuff and to aspire for the whole teaching profession to know its stuff when it comes to reading and spelling acquisition and support. (Debbie Hepplewhite, 2015) This talk will examine what
all teachers need to know about literacy? Early Years Primary Secondary So, what do all teachers need to know? Phonics is generally perceived by learners, teachers and most
adults as baby stuff and not adult stuff. Many people think that phonics ... Is about infant teaching & SEN Is limited in its usefulness Only goes so far Does not suit all learners Should not be taught to all
Detracts from comprehension READ THESE WORDS ALOUD: Calceolaria integrifolia TO READ NEW WORDS ... What did you do and what did you need to know as a literate
adult? The dangers of skipping ... The dangers of skipping words Even adults habitually skip words that they cannot be bothered to fully decode to the extent of giving the new words a pronunciation. They can still deduce the meaning
of any new words not pronounced. The dangers of skipping words The reader can still deduce the meaning of any new words not pronounced! The dangers of skipping words But deducing the meaning alone will not increase the vocabulary bank for
ones spoken language. To increase vocabulary in spoken language, the reader needs to be able to give the new word its speech sound. Alphabetic Code and Decoding Do teachers really know what happens in the private world of pupils, of all ages, when they read silently? Without good phonics code knowledge and
decoding skill, how many pupils stall out and skip words habitually as the words become increasingly challenging and beyond their spoken language? Alphabetic Code and Decoding Isnt this an issue for all teachers to be aware of and to be
able to address? NOW SPELL THIS WORD ... ... and work out what you do as a literate adult and what alphabetic code you need to know for lifelong spelling! SPELLING A WORD What role in the spelling process
do letter names play? What do literate adults commonly and sub-consciously think when they write or type longer, and/or more unusual words? So, is phonics baby stuff? The vast majority of adults use some form of phonics for reading and spelling new, longer and more challenging words. All
teachers should make this explicit to learners and their parents. Spread the word: Phonics is lifelong adult stuff! Informed by Research? Is the teaching profession informed by the research to the point of sharing
a common understanding about reading instruction? Findings according to major international inquiries: UK 2005/6 USA 2000 Australia 2005
USA: National Reading Panel Teaching Children to Read (April 2000) Australia: National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (December 2005) UK: House of Commons Teaching Children to Read (March 2005) UK: Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading Final Report, Jim Rose (March 2006)
USA: Five Pillars of Literacy Phonemic awareness Phonics Vocabulary enrichment Fluency Comprehension Note: A high-quality, content-rich synthetic phonics programme addresses all the Five Pillars of Literacy. USA: Five Pillars of Literacy
Comprehension Shouldnt all teachers be fully knowledgeable about all these Five Pillars of Literacy? In English-speaking contexts, difficulty with reading and spelling is often attributed to dyslexia or SEN ...
Dyslexia Simplest definition: Difficulties in reading (decoding) and/or spelling at word level Weak Literacy Weak literacy and dyslexia is so widespread in the English language,
that surely all teachers need to understand fully about phonics for reading and spelling instruction! English is hard Dan Willingham Dyslexia / low decoding levels Two significant cultural issues:
1) the transparency (simplicity) of the written code of the language 2) the teaching method 1) Alphabetic Codes English: Opaque code 44 smallest speech sounds (phonemes) 47+ units of sound /k+s/ /kw/ /y+oo/ /ul/ 170+ spelling alternatives (graphemes)
(double that for rare & unique spellings) Spanish: Transparent code 24 phonemes 40 spelling alternatives Fewer spelling alternatives than sounds in English. We all need to know the code of our language
The English alphabetic code is the most complex alphabetic code in the world. Teach the letter/s-sound correspondences of the code explicitly and systematically. We all need to know the code of our language
... all beginner readers have to come to terms with the same alphabetic principles if they are to learn to read and write. Sir Jim Rose (Final Report, March 2006) Sir Jim Rose It cannot be left to chance, or for
children to ferret out, on their own, how the alphabetic code works. Sir Jim Rose (Final Report, March 2006) We all need to know the code of our language 2) So should all teachers be fully-trained and knowledgeable
in the alphabetic code of our language and how best to teach it and support in its application for reading and spelling? Learners of English need high-quality experiences: 1) spoken language 2) breadth of literature 3) research-informed
reading instruction What science and experience tells us about reading and reading instruction To be a reader in the full sense is dependent upon two main processes: 1) The ability to decode or recognise the words
What ARE the words? 2) The language comprehension to understand the words that have been decoded or recognised What do the words MEAN? Simple View of Reading Original concept: Gough & Tunmer 1986 Sir Jim Rose 2006
*Professional understanding *Generates conversations England: Official model 2006 Replaced multi-cueing searchlights strategies *Plot learners reading profiles *Plot twice for EAL
*Bullet point your reflections *Review teaching practices *Plan for intervention Sir Jim Rose We spent a huge amount of time observing practice and noting the spectacular success of systematic synthetic phonics when we found it, sometimes in classes where a
significant number of beginners were learning English as an additional language. Beginners are not always infants It is common in our schools for pupils beyond infants to be learners of English as a new or additional language. Does this further raise the question as to the training of all teachers in phonics for reading and spelling instruction?
Common Features Scrutinising the research and observations of classroom practice led to identification of common features of the best practice. Professor Diane McGuinness: The Prototype Early Reading Instruction: What Science Really Tells Us About How To Teach Reading
England: Core Criteria The core criteria provide schools with clearly defined key features of an effective systematic synthetic phonics programme. Published programmes for phonic work should meet each of the following criteria. Further explanatory notes are offered... Identifying core criteria enabled the concept of the DfE phonics
match-funded initiative and phonics catalogue - 2011 to 2013: England: official guidance ... children should not be expected to use strategies such as whole-word recognition and/or cues from context, grammar, or pictures. ... phonic work is seen not as one of a range of optional methods or strategies for teaching
reading but as a body of knowledge and skills about how the alphabet works, which all children should be taught. The Systematic Synthetic Phonics Teaching Principles AVOID: Multi-cueing reading strategies which amount to guessing words from picture, word shape, context and initial letter cues. UNDERSTAND THAT: Picture and context cues
support language comprehension. Context is required to indicate the correct pronunciation of words such as wind and read. Multi-cueing strategies Kerry Hempenstall RMIT University (Nov 2012): One might think that after the publication of numerous authoritative reports...that this tired hypothesis would have been long ago assigned
to the history folder. However, a cursory search for the 3 cueing term produces many examples of it being endorsed by schools districts, education departments, teacher training institutions, and school documents. The realities of professional understanding in England NFER report May 2014: Evidence that teachers
do not share a common understanding of reading instruction How can this be acceptable? The realities of professional understanding in England NFER report: page 60 All teachers would welcome the Year One Phonics Screening Check
if they understood its importance well enough. Dysteachia Low levels of literacy or dyslexia can be caused or exacerbated by whole word teaching and multicueing reading strategies which amount to wordguessing. As children do have different capacities to learn, and some have individual processing difficulties, or impoverished spoken language, it is too easy to attribute within child issues to low levels of literacy rather than ensuring teaching practices are
fully in line with research-findings. Multi-cueing strategies The three-cueing system has absolutely no scientific basis. Dr Louisa Moats in Australia (March 2015): With reading, bad ideas stick with us ... These beliefs, these attitudes, these practices go on unchallenged ... We need to be less tolerant. We need to be
outraged, put our feet down, and run a coordinated campaign for literacy-teaching that is grounded in scientific evidence ... UK: Science and Technology Committee 2009 inquiry - Early Literacy Interventions Investigated: Every Child a Reader Reading Recovery The Governments policy that literacy interventions should take place early on in formal education is in line with the evidence.
The Governments position that early literacy interventions are an investment that saves money in the long run is evidencebased. ...We conclude that, whilst there is evidence to support early intervention, the Government should not have reached the point of a national roll-out of Reading Recovery without making cost-benefit comparisons with other interventions. UK: Science and Technology Committee inquiry - Early Literacy Interventions Investigated: Every Child a Reader Reading Recovery
Teaching children to read is one of the most important things the State does. The Government has accepted Sir Jim Roses recommendation that systematic phonics should be at the heart of the Governments strategy for teaching children to read. This is in conflict with the continuing practice of word memorisation and other teaching practices of the whole language theory of reading used particularly in Wave 3 Reading Recovery. The Government should vigorously review these practices with the objective of ensuring that Reading Recovery complies with its policy.
So has Reading Recovery complied with Government policy in England and come in line with research findings about the dangers of multicueing guessing strategies? How can we find out? The realities of professional understanding in England NFER report: page 60
Lets look again at the facts in England. Even infant teachers are disregarding the research or dont know about it. How Does Phonics Provision Vary? Many Reception and Key Stage One teachers continue with multi-cueing reading strategies and phonics practice, per child, may be very limited.
How Does Phonics Provision Vary? *Pick and mix of commercial phonics *HT and staff fully committed programmes resources to equip L & S *Mini whiteboards main activity (spelling)
*Lack of word-level blending (reading) *Minimal content & insufficient time allocated to T & L Cycle *Avoidance of paper-based work *Lack of text-level phonics work to SSP programme, its guidance & SSP teaching principles *No multi-cueing strategies *Intervention little and often
of same programme & practice *Welcome & value Y1 PSC *Most likely to get top results and consistent results *Developmental readiness mindset *Pre-judges what children need or will enjoy or is appropriate *Insufficient challenge *Lack of progression over time
*Fun activities main focus (extraneous) *Underestimates children *Avoidance of paper-based work *Lack of text level phonics work *Half-hearted commitment of at least some staff *Lack of consistency of programme-use *Adapts guidance but not
necessarily in a rigorous way *Underestimates programme & children *Working towards cumulative decodable home reading books Advisers, Teacher-Trainers and Ofsted Inspectors Do people with a high level of influence and authority share a
common understanding of the research and phonics provision? Literacy: a non-negotiable Ofsted video footage of 3 outstanding schools Infamous phonics parachute game Literacy: a non-negotiable
Commentator: Children are not disengaged by this kind of teaching Literacy: a non-negotiable A lesson with a parachute in the playground was described as a discrete phonics lesson, but it was neither an exemplary discrete phonics lesson nor an exemplary parachute lesson. For a lot of the time, children appeared
to be concentrated on holding down the parachute and waiting for their turn to choose a toy or card, one at a time. (Elizabeth Nonweiler, Jan 2013) Literacy: a non-negotiable Sue Lloyd (Jolly Phonics), Ruth Miskin (Read Write Inc), John Walker (Sounds-Write), Dr Marlynne Grant (Sound Discovery), Debbie Hepplewhite (Phonics International, ORT Floppys Phonics Sounds and Letters) and Elizabeth
Nonweiler (Teach-To-Read) collaboratively raised their concerns with Ofsted that these videos undermine our work and give teachers the wrong message about phonics provision. There were meetings, phone calls, detailed letters and papers (2013) asking Ofsted to remove videos which are potentially misleading and damaging and not appropriate for Ofsted to be showing on its site. Conclusion We are not yet at a point where even our infant
teachers practices are fully-informed by the research on literacy. We are not yet at a point where our inspectorate fully understand about the need for a phonics body of work and rigour in phonics provision. We are not yet at a point where our teachertraining profession and our teachers in all sectors fully understand the significance of phonics to address literacy needs as required.
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