Sight reading as a strategy in EYFS/KS1 - mrz?

(161 Posts)
Guilianna Wed 11-Jun-14 21:17:44

What would you say to a SLT convinced that 'sight reading' is as effective a strategy as phonics, and who advocates teaching mixed methods?

annebullin Fri 13-Jun-14 06:33:40

Cherzan - Do a search online for the new National Curriculum. It's on gov.uk.

ks1 is phonics.

At ks2 children should be decoding fluently at an age appropriate level (as they have been taught using phonics)
'Most pupils will not need further direct teaching of word reading skills: they are able to decode unfamiliar words accurately, and need very few repeated experiences of this before the word is stored in such a way that they can read it without overt sound-blending.'

Children who aren't reading fluently at ks2 must be taught using phonics.

'pupils who are still struggling to decode need to be taught to
do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers.'

mrz Fri 13-Jun-14 06:34:06

Reading
The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

word reading

comprehension (both listening and reading).

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.
Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. _This is why phonics should be emphasised_ in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school.

Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world.

Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words.

The number, order and choice of exception words taught will vary according to the phonics programme being used. Ensuring that pupils are aware of the GPCs they contain, however unusual these are, supports spelling later.

Young readers encounter words that they have not seen before much more frequently than experienced readers do, and they may not know the meaning of some of these.
Practice at reading such words by sounding and blending can provide opportunities not only for pupils to develop confidence in their decoding skills, but also for teachers to explain the meaning and thus develop pupils’ vocabulary.

By the beginning of year 3, pupils should be able to read books written at an age-appropriate interest level.
They should be able to read them accurately and at a speed that is sufficient for them to focus on understanding what they read rather than on decoding individual words. *They should be able to decode most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation. As their decoding skills become increasingly secure, teaching should be directed more towards developing
their vocabulary and the breadth and depth of their reading, making sure that they become independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently.

As in key stage 1, however, pupils who are still struggling to decode need to be taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers. If they cannot decode independently and fluently, they will find it increasingly difficult to understand what they read and to write down what they want to say.

mrz Fri 13-Jun-14 06:39:23

It is essential that pupils whose decoding skills are poor are taught through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers in terms of their decoding and spelling. However, as far as possible, these pupils should follow the upper key stage 2 programme of study in terms of listening to books and other writing that
they have not come across before, hearing and learning new vocabulary and grammatical structures, and having a chance to talk about all of these.

Mashabell Fri 13-Jun-14 07:09:04

Diamondage
I regularly have to tell my daughter how words are pronounced because they are not in her vocabulary yet.

So do all parents and teachers. That's why learning to read English involves so much reading practice, with listening to children read aloud and helping them to access words they get stuck on.

E.g. conf*ine*, eng*ine*, mar*ine*. - No child can read those words accurately until they are part of their vocabulary. Having to know a word before u can read it is not decoding.

meditrina Fri 13-Jun-14 07:19:49

A child who can produce any one of the homograph pronunciations, or who knows that there are only two or three possible sounds for that grapheme is decoding.

I think there is some misunderstanding of what phonics actually is, let alone how it is taught, and of the basic idea that natural language is about sound.

Mashabell Fri 13-Jun-14 07:33:33

Guilianna
A head who talks about the magic e.

So do u prefer to talk about open and closed vowels?
Or split digraphs?

Whatever the terminology, the letters a, e, i, o and u all have at least two sounds, with the long and short ones being the two main ones: mad - made, them - theme, bit - bite, not - note, cut -cute.

A final -e indicates a preceding long vowel at least 95% of the time, but unfortunately around 200 common words have a surplus -e (e.g. have, imagine) and mess up the system - and cause problems for the teaching of phonics.

mrz Fri 13-Jun-14 07:42:17

Guilianna
A head who talks about the magic e.

So do u prefer to talk about open and closed vowels?
I prefer to talk about vowels and consonants - talking about magic e or open/closed or long/short is confusing for beginner readers and totally unnecessary

kesstrel Fri 13-Jun-14 08:06:31

Diamondage

I think the key here, in response to your point, is what the guidance says about "making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation." If you think about it, even words that we would regard as highly phonically regular will end up being pronounced differently in different countries and regions, so the idea that there is ever a single "correct" pronunciation is illusory anyway.

But the point is, skilled readers are able to decode any word to a sufficiently close approximation that it allows them to register the word in their reading vocabulary, and recognise it in future, so that eventually it is recognised automatically. Studies show that all skilled readers (apart from a tiny number with eidetic memories) do this, and the implication is that the process is necessary for enlarging your reading and writing vocabulary.

sazale Fri 13-Jun-14 08:09:33

My DS in Y2 has input from the LA specialist teaching service due to his great difficulty learning to read/write and they are teaching him mixed methods alongside school doing their version of RR (written by the senco). I'm interested in the guidance as well thanks.

Mashabell Fri 13-Jun-14 08:30:23

Meditrina

misunderstanding of what phonics actually is, let alone how it is taught, and of the basic idea that natural language is about sound.

Are u saying that natural language is not about sound?
The main claim of phonics evangelists like Mrz is that phonics is about teaching sounds, e.g.:

if you teach them 44 sounds and how to decode they will be able to read any word they meet.

LittleMissGreen Fri 13-Jun-14 08:59:18

Diamondage
"Even if you know all of the alternative spellings it is still not always possible to know how to pronounce a word that isn't already in your vocabulary when the spelling correspondances have more than one sound option.."

I guess though, that if a child had no idea of a particular word then using a look and say method - ie guessing from the picture, they would have no clue whatsoever as to what the new word might be. If they have never heard the word marine no amount of looking at a picture of one would get them to it. Whereas a child with phonics knowledge would get most of the way there and then need guiding by the person they are reading with.

diamondage Fri 13-Jun-14 10:16:28

meditrina: A child who can produce any one of the homograph pronunciations, or who knows that there are only two or three possible sounds for that grapheme is decoding.
No, they are trying to decode, whether or not they are successful depends on many factors, principally, the rarity or unusualness of the spelling to sound correspondence, how many possible sounds the spelling might represent, and whether or not the child already knows the word, so that they can fill in the unknown part or parts.

In fact the process is akin to having a jigsaw puzzle where some gaps can be filled with more than one jigsaw piece. The child may recognise the picture even before they've put in all the pieces if they know what the picture represents. Equally they may sit their trying out different possible pieces and still not be successful in working out what the picture represents.

Mashabell agreed!

kestrel Agree with your first paragraph but not your last.

There is a difference between pronunciation variations due to regional variations and mispronouncing a word due to not knowing how to pronounce it. Certainly not all people bother to look up new words to see how to pronounce them, they simply mispronounce them or skip them altogether, especially if they can guess the rough meaning from context. How many people pronounce coelacanth with a hard c and oe rather than an s and ee? Who teaches children about Greek phonics, and when (certainly they were not covered in the phonics phases, how about in the new curriculum?) yet English is peppered with them, along with French ones and so on. And if you aren't explicitly taught you certainly can't get the pronunciations correct.

LittleMissGreen I agree that phonics is best!!!! What I disagree with is the premise that if you know your 44 sounds and know every single possible spelling correspondence you will then be able to pronounce any word using phonics alone.

mrz the point is that children are taught and they have an EFFECTIVE strategy that works when they do meet new words.

As a strategy it is highly effective for regular correspondences (certainly to the level of the phonics test) but its effectiveness is compromised by the many irregular spelling correspondences. I remain of the view that it is not possible to decode any word from text alone.

And all new words are like pseudo words when you first come across them.

kesstrel Fri 13-Jun-14 10:39:36

Diamond

"Agree with your first paragraph but not your last."

What don't you agree about in the last paragraph?

mrz Fri 13-Jun-14 17:20:12

The main claim of phonics evangelists like Mrz is that phonics is about teaching sounds, e.g.:

if you teach them 44 sounds and how to decode they will be able to read any word they meet.

that clearly proves you don't understand how phonics is taught or what phonics is masha

mrz Fri 13-Jun-14 17:33:50

As a strategy it is highly effective for regular correspondences (certainly to the level of the phonics test) thank you, the level of the phonics test is that children are able to decode ANY unfamiliar word they may encounter - which is why pseudowords are used

diamondage Fri 13-Jun-14 18:46:42

mrz - Hmmm, well it's true the phonics test doesn't require children to get pseudo words "right", they can provide any answer as long as it's phonetically plausable.

So if by "decode any unfamiliar word" you mean say a phonetically plausible combination of sounds then yes, being taught to phase 5 (or equivalent) can do that. I still don't think it will enable a child to decode any word with the correct pronunciation.

For example would you expect pupils taking the phonics test to correctly decode words like assure, forward or ancient IF they had not already been explicitly taught or come across those words already (e.g. been told the pronounciation by their parents or taught by you the infrequent spelling of ar for /oo/) or would you accept a phonetically plausable attempt and THEN correct them and call that decoding? How about aeroplane, antennae or archaeology? What of recipient, catastrophe, or fascism.

mrz Fri 13-Jun-14 18:56:54

if the word isn't in their vocabulary they won't know which version is correct until they are told the word but they will have an effective strategy for finding ALL the alternatives including the correct one ...

maizieD Fri 13-Jun-14 23:02:17

For example would you expect pupils taking the phonics test to correctly decode words like assure, forward or ancient IF they had not already been explicitly taught or come across those words already (e.g. been told the pronounciation by their parents or taught by you the infrequent spelling of ar for /oo/)

Just where is the /oo/ in 'forward', diamondage? Are you suggesting that the 'ar' is a schwa?

maizieD Fri 13-Jun-14 23:05:01

P.S Nobody would expect children taking the phonics check to be able to decode any of your exemplar words. There won't be many 6 y olds who encounter assure & ancient in their reading...

mrz Sat 14-Jun-14 06:52:27

Well my Y1 class are reading aloud from The Great Kapok tree and coped with ancestors and generations independently

IsItFridayYetPlease Sat 14-Jun-14 08:23:31

Tell your SLT the Year 1 children will get poor scores on the phonics check next week! The result are part of the whole school data the SLT are accountable for, so that should wake them up!

MrsKCastle Sat 14-Jun-14 08:46:59

MaizieD I'm surprised that you don't think many 6 year olds will encounter assure, ancient etc. It seems to me that if phonics is taught well, then those kind of words will not be within the capabilities of many Y1 children at this point in the year.

MrsKCastle Sat 14-Jun-14 08:48:26

Aargh. Rogue 'not' changed my whole meaning.

It seems to me that those words will be within the capabilities of many Y1 children.

mrz Sat 14-Jun-14 08:58:15

To be fair maizieD works with older children who have been failed by sight words and mixed methods.

diamondage Sat 14-Jun-14 09:33:05

Firstly maizie & mrz thank you for responding and engaging with me, please keep in mind that I am a parent that is desperately trying to continue phonics with DD2 because despite being able to pass the phonics test she comes across a few words most days that she can't decode without help. She doesn't have the tools she needs, the school won't provide them and I am floundering about because there's so little, if not no help with the complex code.

maizie where we live (SE) we say forward, afterwards etc. to rhyme with wood, should, hood, so definately the short /oo/ sound and not the schwa that starts "about".

DD2 read ancient and assured (with my help to sound out the tricky parts) from her school books when she was 5. Now she is just 6 she is on the Collins Big Cat Emerald level 15 and NC L3b. However I don't see what age has to do with it as surely the teaching is the same whether children are 5 or 8? This isn't a boast I am saying it to illustrate why I am desperate for information that will ensure she can "find all the alternatives including the correct one" because despite my very best efforts she can't unless words are relatively regular and/or within her knowledge.

mrz but ancestors and generations are regular.

It's the irregular spellings (or ones I haven't taught yet) that cause problems. So for example there are words such as ruin and recipient, where the vowels each represent a sound rather than representing one sound. Yes the sounds are common but ui more usually represents /oo/ as in fruit and ie more usually represents /igh/ etc. Is there a name for vowels representing 2 sounds like that and are there any rules or indicators to know when it happens (e.g. most words ending "ia" seem to represent /ee/schwa so dd can read all words that end in ia and could decode Ian, which wasn't in her vocabulary when she first came across it).

DD can read archaeology and it's other forms (and I can even spell it now grin which reinforces my view that my mild dyslexia is down to not being taught phonics as a child) BUT DD still doesn't have the tools to attempt any word that has "ae" as a spelling. I don't know how to pronounce many of these words myself myself because a) I was never taught phonics and b) I can't find any phonics programme that covers these sorts of spellings.

So consequently DD can read fluently & use phonics to independently read new words that are phonetically regular but multisylbic words where it is not possible to know which sounds various vowels represent stump her, and short words like Niarobi for example and who knows how many other words that don't have common correspondances.

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