I received some 'Nov 2011' booklets about reading designed by a school for parents today - a school that has invested in Read Write Inc, and RWI training I believe, and should, therefore, really be using the synthetic phonics teaching prinicples. Ruth would be horrified - as am I.
It states in the booklet:
Sadly, tragically, systematic synthetic phonics whilst clearly being heavily promoted by the government, is not statutory - only guidance - and no-one can really do anything about schools providing guidance such as this, and following practices such as these.STRATEGIES TO HELP YOUR CHILD READ A WORD...
Which letter phonemes do you recognise? Can you blend them together?
Phonic clues - 'The boy lived in the h.............. .' There are a number of words which could fit, but because it begins with an 'h', house is likely.
Does the word make sense? Read the sentence again to check.
Syntactic clues - 'The boy................................his bike on the pavement.' We know that the word will be a verb - rode, pushed, etc.
Are there any words that would make sense?
Contextual clues - 'The boy lived in the ................................. .' The next word is likely to be house, cottage, wood, etc.
What does the picture tell you?
This will support the contextual clues.
Is it a word you know?
Graphic clues - If a child recognises a word like 'all', they are more likely to recognise 'ball, tall, fall, wall, etc'.
Have you read the word before? Is it on another page?
Are there any bits of the word you recognise?
Miss out the word, say 'mmmm, finish the sentence.' Then go back and work out what the word was.
In a rhyming book, think of more words that rhyme.
Use the first 1 or 2 sounds with one of the above strategies'
Go back and read the sentence again for fluency!
So, are three-quarters of our primary schools still promoting these flawed strategies above despite everyone's efforts?