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Misty muddies the waters – again!

On September 17th Misty Adoniou wrote a piece for The Conversation entitled ‘New phonics test will do nothing to improve Australian children’s literacy’. Although I’ve written a couple of times before about Ms Adoniou’s somewhat jaundiced view of phonics here and here, I thought this time I’d look more closely at the arguments she puts forward.… Continue reading Misty muddies the waters – again!

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3 things you wanted to know about the simple present

Ever wondered why when you’re teaching verb tenses that the simple present isn’t about the present? As readers of this blog will know by now, I’m keen on the idea of threshold concepts. A threshold concept, as defined by Glynis Cousins, is ‘central to the mastery of one’s subject’, especially because it enables teachers to ‘make… Continue reading 3 things you wanted to know about the simple present

Simple past tense endings for reading and spelling

Simple past tense endings for reading or spelling

I’ve never used my blog to answer a question from a single individual but, as the subject has come up in other contexts, the post is about reading and spelling simple past tense -ed endings in weak verbs. To be honest, I’m always slightly surprised by this question – it does come up occasionally on… Continue reading Simple past tense endings for reading or spelling

history · Robert Peal

How to help secondary pupils with reading and writing complex words

I wrote the following response, which I’ve edited slightly and supplemented, to Robert Peal’s excellent piece ‘Planning a knowledge-based scheme of work. Part 1: Reading. You can read it here.Let me state categorically that my response isn’t intended to take away anything from Robert’s endeavour. The work he’s doing is really superb and his generosity… Continue reading How to help secondary pupils with reading and writing complex words

BBC news · npr · Pinyin · Zhou Youguang

Zhou Youguang, inventor of Pinyin

The BBC has reported that Zhou Youguang, the man who brought literacy to millions in China after the communist victory in 1949, died on Saturday 14thJanuary, a day after celebrating his 111th birthday. After working as a Wall Street banker, Zhou decided, in 1949, to return to China to help with rebuilding the country. In… Continue reading Zhou Youguang, inventor of Pinyin

Daisy Christodoulou · Diane McGuinness · Glynis Cousins · K Anders Ericsson · linguistic phonics · Mark Seidenberg · Michael J. Prietula · Paul J Feltovich

Threshold concepts and the idea of sound to print

I’ve been thinking quite a bit recently about Glynis Cousin’s short introduction to ‘threshold concepts’, an idea developed by Erik Meyer and Ray Land and, although I have reservations about some of the things she argues, I’m finding her central theme quite helpful. She describes a threshold concept as one that is ‘central to the… Continue reading Threshold concepts and the idea of sound to print