The government’s focus on synthetic phonics is too narrow.
A recently released schools policy guide has been receiving some criticism. Reports suggest it instructs teachers to not use terms like “boys and girls”, for instance. This is not entirely correct.
Australia’s curriculum is being reviewed for the first time since 2014. The proposed changes include positive additions to acknowledge our many cultures. But there are some reductive changes, too.
If families embrace reading as fun and routine and teachers work more closely than before with the families of their students, it’s possible that remote learning won’t be a huge obstacle to literacy.
With 52% of 15-year-olds now saying they read only if they have to, experts say a new way of teaching literacy is overdue.
Two literacy scholars share their concerns about growing pressure on educators to emphasize phonics to teach reading. In their view, critiques of other methods often rest on a false premise.
A whole language approach to teaching reading gives kids a whole linguistic picture of how words work. This includes teaching individual letters and sounds, as well as what the words mean in context.
English is a code-based language, with 26 letters to represent 44 speech sounds. Children must first learn to master the code if they want to be successful readers.
Early experiences sharing and developing positive connections, language and communication set the stage for home reading to start children on the path to literacy.
For learners in the early stages of reading, the best way to counteract the loss of literacy skills over the summer is not by forcing study but by boosting play that develops fine motor skills.
It would be wiser to spend money on policies that allow teachers to teach in ways that nurture children’s sense of belonging and making sure children are not hungry when they are trying to learn.
Reading involves more than decoding letter-sound relationships and making meaning from isolated texts.
Children in the early stages of learning to read should be given decodable books to practise and generalise their developing alphabetic skills.
The Victorian opposition has pledged funding for “decodable readers” which focus only on sounds. But kids prefer to read rich texts.
Results from a recent trial of England’s phonics check in South Australia show teachers liked it and students need it.
The results of an international study into reading skills offer reason for optimism for Australian students. But tragically, too many children are still being left behind.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham is right to be concerned about the number of children struggling with literacy - but this test is not the solution.
Many young children can give the false impression that they are learning to read, when in fact they are mostly guessing words from pictures or context. This test will help to identify these students.
Phonics instruction gives children letter-sound knowledge, a skill that is essential for them to read unfamiliar words by themselves.
A focus on phonics may be the cure to Australia’s literacy woes.