ERIC Number: ED479647
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Mar-17
Reference Count: N/A
Fine Tuning the National Literacy Strategy to Ensure Continuing Progress in Improving Standards of Reading in the UK: Some Suggestions for Change.
The author endorses the approach to teaching phonics set out in recent documents (e.g. Progression in Phonics) that extend and supersede the approach set out earlier in the National Literacy Strategy (NLS) Framework for Teaching. Proposed are minor, evidence-driven amendments to this approach. The assumption that failure to achieve continuing steady improvement in reading standards by the end of Key Stage 2 is due solely, or largely, to problems in word recognition that stem from inadequate phonics teaching is questioned. The author suggests that SATs (Standard Assessment Tests) do not provide the kind of data that would permit this interpretation, as they inevitably confound word recognition with text comprehension. The same confound is evident in the "searchlights" model of reading presented to teachers. Elucidated are its consequences with respect to ideology and teacher knowledge about reading. Suggested is a simpler model that avoids confounding issues. The simpler model also redirects attention away from considering reading comprehension in isolation from language comprehension. That single language comprehension system underlies oral and written comprehension is argued. The author then considers the treatment of reading comprehension in the NLS Framework for Teaching, showing how much of it could better be described as teaching literary criticism, rather than facilitating reading comprehension. The author also describes some of the processes shown by research studies to be important to comprehension, and how little these are reflected in the NLS Framework for Teaching. There are suggestions as to the direction movement should take if the teaching of comprehension is to be improved. In conclusion, the author outlines areas in which further research is needed if continuing improvements in teaching and learning are to be achieved. This includes collecting the kinds of data needed to ensure a correct analysis of the causes of the recent decline in progress towards better reading standards. (Contains 33 references.) (Author/RS)
Descriptors: British National Curriculum, Literacy, National Standards, Phonics, Primary Education, Reading Comprehension, Reading Instruction, Reading Research, Research Needs, Test Score Decline
For full text: http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/pdf/literacy/mstuart_phonics.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom