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

intrinsic and extraneous cognitive load · VAS blog · Word building

The Reading Achievement Challenge – the child’s view at the point of learning

Following on from two previous postings (here and here) on the subject of cognitive load in the domain of the teaching of phonics, here is a practical demonstration of the cognitive challenges a four-year-old child has to contend with in just one simple word building exercise. But first, why word building? Word building is our… Continue reading The Reading Achievement Challenge – the child’s view at the point of learning

Anthony Radice · Peter Daniels · The Traditional Teacher · The World's Writing Systems

The know-nothing world of the academic opposition to phonics

If you want to know why so many Australian (and English) academics are so strongly opposed to a Phonics Screening Check, which really is a fig leaf for their hostility to phonics teaching itself, it is that, at bottom, they don’t understand the relationship between the sounds of the language and the writing system itself.… Continue reading The know-nothing world of the academic opposition to phonics

Cambridge assessment · Debra Myhill · Rhea - super speller · Today programme

Of polydactyls

If you were listening to the last five minutes of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday, you will have caught a short item on, allegedly, how pupils’ spelling has deteriorated. The item began by stating that new research from Cambridge Assessment is telling us that ‘we are making more spelling mistakes than our parents’.… Continue reading Of polydactyls

Misty Adoniou · phonics · Phonics screening check · The Conversation

The continuation of the war against phonics by other means

Once again I feel obliged to respond to an article posted by Misty Adoniou in The Conversation and, as I have pointed out previously here and here, Misty is as foggy as her name when it comes to talking about phonics. In order to arrest the decline in reading ability, Australia is currently considering adopting the England’s Phonics Screening Check. Misty’s… Continue reading The continuation of the war against phonics by other means

phonics · Professor Diane McGuinness. Professor Anne Castles

How to teach some HFWs (Part I)

On the ReadOxford website, an Australian academic recently argued for the teaching of ‘sight’ words. What she didn’t or wasn’t able to say was which words she thought needed to be included in any such list, nor why they needed to be included. Neither did she state explicitly how far teachers should go down this road: how… Continue reading How to teach some HFWs (Part I)