“I learnt to read by standing in custard”

Filling the pail

Earlier, I read an articulate and reasoned piece in The Conversation by Lorraine Hammond of Edith Cowan University. In the article, she argues for the introduction of an Australian phonics check, setting out some of the supporting evidence.

I should have known better, but I found myself looking at the comments. I was reminded that people tend to argue against synthetic phonics from an ideological stance rather than a scientific one. And I was reminded of some of the arguments that are made to support this view.

I think some people struggle with the nuance of the phonics debate. For instance, there are different kinds of phonics teaching. Analytic phonics is less effective that synthetic phonics as Pamela Snow explains in her excellent recent post on phonics fallacies. Therefore, simply doing a bit of phonics is insufficient.

The other complication is that you certainly canlearn to read via whole…

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