Literacy instruction varies widely from school to school and even from classroom to classroom. Students are exposed to different approaches throughout their primary years. When there is no Standardize Instruction … students become confused
With the ongoing debate over phonics versus whole language, schools often take an eclectic approach. Instead of good systematic instruction we have outdated philosophies that continue to influence teaching.
Methods such as, ‘look, say, cover’, guessing, using picture clues, or learning oversimplified rules; are mainstream classroom practices. Whole language= Mass illiteracy
There is too much emphasis on visual learning these days. Successful readers use the auditory processing part of the brain. Solid phonics instruction develops those pathways in the brain
The key to reading and spelling is simply understanding that words are made up of sounds, that can be manipulated. Sound Spell teaches all the sounds explicitly in a logical sequence
The conclusion from forty years of research is that we need systematic instruction in 'breaking the code' of written language. (“Low literacy cannot be tolerated or excused any longer” Dr Jennifer Buckingham, C.I.S) Mar 2016 ABC),
It has also been shown that some teaching methods are more effective than others. The most effective method for teaching new complex skills and imparting knowledge is explicit instruction through Intensive, systematic phonics.
Children then need to be given plenty of supported practice to become fluent and proficient readers. Other aspects of literacy such as fluency are built on top of this foundational level. Without decoding, students cannot go beyond the elementary level. Kids need the tools to decode words internally. Oral language as well as speech and auditory processing skills are vital.
Studies repeatedly show, that the key to a great education is good teaching; not more money, not IQ, not great parenting nor exclusive schools. Teaching smart should not be a last resort nor the domain of specialist teachers.
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