If you missed last week’s ACE/CIS Phonics Debate, you can still watch it online, and read these interesting blog posts about it:
- The ‘Phonics Debate’: a lesson in irony
- Phonics science v/s “the feels”,
- Science v/s slurs: The Phonics Debate, and the delightful follow-up Phonics Advocates Have Something To Sell, and
- Phonics debate embracing the evidence.
Prof Pamela Snow’s latest blog post isn’t about the debate, but instead directly addresses the future with an open letter to student teachers.
The debate took me back to my halcyon, pimply youth at Warrnambool High School, where our public speaking teacher, Mrs Melican, used to say, “You don’t win a debate by ignoring the topic and debating something else”.
The Phonics Debate’s topic was “Phonics in context is not enough: synthetic phonics and learning to read”. The theoretical backdrop to this is the robust, evidence-based Simple View of Reading, first proposed by Gough and Tunmer in 1986, showing that reading comprehension is the product of two separate skills: decoding and listening comprehension.
Here’s my favourite analogy for the Simple View of Reading, which comes from Dr Maria Murray of the US Reading League: reading comprehension (RC, apparently AKA in the Ed Biz as “meaning-making”) is the gold in a treasure chest with two separate locks: a decoding lock (D) and a listening comprehension (LC) lock. Continue reading