The question was asked whether this list could be used to support the teaching of Analytic Phonics (AP) . While at least one person replied confidently that it couldn’t be (implication being that it could only describe Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) I do have my doubts. I think that it could be interpreted as supporting the teaching of AP and I said so. As far as I can see from ensuing tweets it is thought that it cannot be used in such a way but the objections seem to be relying on the fact that AP is associated with ‘mixed methods’; primarily the use of ‘other strategies’ for word identification (word ID).
I would suggest that it might be argued that the two could be separated. That someone teaching AP could very well claim to be teaching word identification solely through a decoding and blending route and not using ‘other strategies’ for word ID. As far as I can see, although AP starts from a whole word which is then ‘analysed into its component letter/sound correspondences (LSCs), I think that an AP teacher might argue that they are identifying and teaching LSCs and that they could systematically use the phonic knowledge they have taught for the identification of unfamiliar words. And that this can be done without the use of picture and context cues (‘other strategies’)
I proposed this, not because I am an advocate of AP but because I wonder if AP practitioners could plausibly argue that this is how they teach. I am, of course, aware that in the past AP has been associated with ‘other strategies’ for word ID and strategies such as teaching blends and word ID by use of onset and rime; but would this be absolutely necessary?
I’m posting this because I’d be interested in the views of others on this (and, ideally, I’d like it if teachers of AP would contribute their views, though I realise this is unlikely to happen). I have had sufficient ‘debates’ with other people on the subject of SP instruction to know that statements/ wording/ research which seems to SP advocates to be self evident and supporting only SP practice can be interpreted quite differently by people advocating different ways of teaching reading.
If different interpretation of these points can be justified by consistent and logical arguments it is worrying for SP advocates who believe that the new English NC endorses only one way of teaching phonics.Pupils should be taught to:
- apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words
respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes
read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught
read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings
read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs
read words with contractions [for example, I’m, I’ll, we’ll], and understand that the apostrophe represents the omitted letter(s)
read aloud accurately books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words
re-read these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading