Thursday, September 25, 2014

Phonics tests and literacy: reading is more than just ‘barking at print’

Published in the Guardian, September29, 2014

Your report (Rise in school literacy attributed to phonics, 26 September) provides evidence only that intensive and “systematic” phonics instructions will produce higher scores on tests of phonics. In the “phonics check”, children were asked only to pronounce words presented in a list.
There is substantial research showing that heavy phonics instruction makes no significant contribution to tests in which children have to understand what they read.
Real reading ability is the result of actual reading, especially of books that readers find interesting. Avid readers eventually acquire nearly all the rules of phonics and spelling, as a result of reading.
Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

Original article:

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