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Michael Rosen criticising phonics again- and me this time!

 
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2476
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:44 pm    Post subject: Michael Rosen criticising phonics again- and me this time! Reply with quote

Someone just kindly alerted me to a blog posting by Michael Rosen, famous children's author and poet.

Michael Rosen goes to extraordinary lengths to undermine phonics teaching and in 2012 he headed up a petition against the statutory Year One Phonics Screening Check in England - signed by 90 other children's authors and illustrators:

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/jul/24/children-authors-phonics-reading-test

Clearly Rosen knows nothing about the importance of phonics teaching and the importance of children being able to decode new and unknown words in their reading material. Perhaps he should stop writing his blog postings long enough to do some wider reading on the research on reading instruction and the importance of explicit phonics teaching to enable all children to read.

He has discovered an article I wrote for the 'Primary Matters, A Teaching English Magazine' that goes out to members of NATE (National Association for Teaching English) and rather than contact me directly to enquire about phonics teaching for spelling beyond infants, he decided to write a blog posting for which he has deliberately disabled the 'comments' section.

He doesn't really want to find out more about phonics for spelling then, does he!


http://michaelrosenblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/applying-alphabetic-code-for-spelling.html?spref=tw

Michael writes:

Quote:
So, as I sit and wonder how to spell the words in this sentence, phonics might help me to spell 'so' 'I' 'sit', 'and', 'spell' 'how', 'in', 'sentence', 'phonics', 'help' but it wobbles when it comes to 'yes', 'as', 'the', 'wonder','to', 'words','might', 'comes'.


He reveals that he doesn't know about comprehensive phonics teaching or he would not have highlighted his list of words above. Does he not know about spelling alternatives and pronunciation alternatives? It appears as if he has a limited understanding about the English alphabetic code and its complexities.
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Debbie Hepplewhite


Last edited by debbie on Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:09 pm; edited 5 times in total
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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Michael Rosen criticising phonics yet again! Reply with quote

Michael writes:

Quote:
By the way, does Debbie really mean that we have to go on doing phonics forever? I mean how long-term is 'long-term'?


We should go on teaching phonics for reading and/or spelling for those who need it - for as long as it takes. Phonics application for reading and spelling new, longer and more challenging words is routinely used by many, if not most, adults - but many don't even realise it!

Michael is looking like an example of an un-knowing adult - and his anti-phonics talks and articles do our pupils and teachers (and our researchers) a grave disservice.

If Michael really wants to learn more about phonics teaching, phonics programmes, phonics teacher-training and phonics provision - and phonics being applied to reading and writing including in the long-term - perhaps he should ask the phonics specialists direct?
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The free Alphabetic Code Charts via the link below demonstrate what teaching a comprehensive alphabetic code can 'look like'.

The words that Michael mentions as being problematic are not problematic as they are made up of 'code' just like other words.

Phonics for spelling means continuing with oral segmenting, that is identifying the constituent parts from beginning to end of the spoken word, then allotting graphemes (letters and letter groups) that are code for the sounds.

Specific word banks and words do have to be taught to raise awareness of the spelling of the words, but oral segmenting and building up knowledge of spelling word banks is lifelong.

The more comprehensively children are taught the code, and introduced to the notion of spelling word banks, and the need to pay attention to tricky parts in specific words, the more attentive to the detail of spellings people can be when they are reading widely.

http://www.alphabeticcodecharts.com/free_charts.html
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, well, well - here is a very interesting development as popular blogger, David Didau, writes a response to Michael Rosen's blog posting about me - and is very supportive about phonics for spelling!

See David's 'The Learning Spy' posting here:

Quote:
Can phonics help us spell better?


http://www.learningspy.co.uk/literacy/can-phonics-help-us-spell-better/

Thank you David - who explains thus:

Quote:
Phonics for spelling means continuing with oral segmenting (identifying the constituent parts from beginning to end of the spoken word) then allotting graphemes (letters and letter groups) that represent the sounds. Specific word banks and words do have to be taught in order to raise awareness of the spelling of the words, but oral segmenting and building up knowledge of spelling word banks has a lifelong utility. The more comprehensively children are taught the code, and introduced to the notion of spelling word banks, and the need to pay attention to tricky parts in specific words, the more attentive to the detail of spellings people can be when they are reading widely.

So, can phonics help us spell?

To reply to Michael’s question, “phonics alone” may not be enough to ensure children always choose the correct spelling option, but then nothing in what he reports Debbie as having said implies that this is something she either thinks or has stated. What a thorough knowledge of the alphabetic code can do is make it easier to spell correctly.


David describes very well how phonics plays a role for life and for teaching beyond the infants:

Further, I have now had permission from the editor of the 'Primary' NATE magazine to provide a link to the article which leads to Michael Rosen's comments and questions about phonics for spelling beyond infants if anyone is interested. The thrust of this article is about fit-for-purpose resources, content and phonics practice, see here:

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/NATE_TE.pdf

You can find information about the NATE journals here:

https://www.nate.org.uk/magazine-journals/
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Last edited by debbie on Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And if anyone got as far as reading my article in the NATE primary magazine, they might be interested in my graphic to illustrate what different schools' phonics provision can typically 'look like' and how they really don't look 'the same' with regard to rigour, content, and time spent on phonics - thus they're not likely to get the same level of results nor serve all the children equally well:

Quote:
Simple View of Schools' Phonics Provision



http://www.phonicsinternational.com/Simple%20View%20of%20Schools.pdf
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And if anyone is interested in more information about the potential use of Alphabetic Code Charts and my 'Two-pronged systematic and incidental phonics provision', then this piece might be useful:

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/Debbie_RRF_Two_pronged_handout.pdf
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly, I was also alerted to this little piece of information on Michael Rosen's blog. The comment is very strange because David Didau clearly linked direct to Rosen's blog posting about phonics spelling and me - so there was no need to also copy the whole of Rosen's posting.


Quote:
Sunday, 12 June 2016

David Didau, phonics and spelling.

A teacher called David Didau writes a blog:

http://www.learningspy.co.uk

In an earlier blog on my blogspot, I wrote about phonics and spelling.
It was a query about something that phonics expert Debbie Hepplewhite wrote.

David Didau replied to my blog.
However he didn't cite my blog in its entirety.
So I posted it.
I also agreed with several points that other people wrote in reply to his blog.
He has now taken down the comments thread.

Perhaps it'll go back up soon.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flagged up by Susan Godsland on Twitter, this is an excellent article on spelling by Dr Louisa C. Moats for anyone who is interested in spelling in the English language:

Quote:
How Spelling Supports Reading

And Why It Is More Regular and Predictable Than You May Think


By Louisa C. Moats


http://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/periodicals/Moats.pdf
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