Aus: Infamous Phonics Debate - 'Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read'

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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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Aus: Infamous Phonics Debate - 'Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:15 pm

Here is notification by Dr Jennifer Buckingham, member of IFERI's Advisory Group, of a forthcoming debate (Tuesday 31st July 2018) in Sydney, Australia:

I am delighted to inform you that FIVE from FIVE is co-hosting a debate with the Australian College of Educators.

Professor Anne Castles will be joining me to argue for the proposition. The against team will be headed up by Robyn Ewing.

The proposition is -- Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read.

Details here: https://www.austcolled.com.au/product/p ... g-to-read/

Please come along and promote widely. We moved to a bigger venue after the first one sold out in 24 hours, so now we have a big room to fill.


This is a much-needed debate in Australia. On learning about this debate, I did a 'search' of the IFERI forum which came up with some threads featuring Professor Robyn Ewing including some responses to her articles which may help to provide some background information and set the scene:

http://www.iferi.org/iferi_forum/search ... mit=Search


PLEASE NOTE:

December 22nd 2018:

Here is a transcript of the debate. I'm adding this at a later date at the beginning of this thread because I think this will be very useful for quick reference:

Phonics Debate Transcript: Phonics in context is not enough


https://www.fivefromfive.org.au/phonics ... ot-enough/
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Re: Aus: Debate - 'Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:36 pm

Typical me – my first thoughts were, ‘Show a comprehensive range of letter/s-sound correspondences through the visual impact of an Alphabetic Code Chart and ask how teachers as individuals can possibly provide enough information via the ‘context’ approach that guarantees all children are served well.

One of the phrases I like to call upon is ‘discharging our professional duty’. One of teachers ‘duties’ is surely not leaving foundational literacy to chance. Children deserve better. Being taught the complex English alphabetic code for reading and spelling purposes is the duty of the teaching profession and children deserve a guarantee of quality teaching and comprehensive coverage.

Look at an example of a comprehensive range of correspondences of the complex English alphabetic code:

http://alphabeticcodecharts.com/One_sid ... ymbols.pdf

How easy would it be to teach this code 'in context' and to guarantee that all teachers did so?
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Re: Aus: Debate - 'Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:34 pm

Live Debate: Register Now

Phonics in context is not enough: Synthetic phonics & learning to read

The Australian College of Educators in conjunction with the Centre for Independent Studies is pleased to offer our members and stakeholders the opportunity to livestream this must see event!

Register here to stream this event live and free.

https://mailchi.mp/austcolled.com.au/ac ... ive-debate


Or here:

https://austcolled.us5.list-manage.com/ ... 1d9a6ae2fa
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Re: Aus: Debate - 'Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:39 pm

See the debate via this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... nUNsYfrxjY

There are 20 minutes or so of people arriving and settling, so do skip the first part of the video.
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Re: Aus: Debate - 'Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:56 am

Greg Ashman's commentary:

Science versus slurs: The phonics debate


https://gregashman.wordpress.com/2018/0 ... cs-debate/
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Re: Aus: Debate - 'Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:23 pm

Here is a reminder of why the phonics debate is such a hot topic in Australia:

South Australia’s trial of England’s year one phonics check shows why we need it


https://theconversation.com/south-austr ... tterbutton



And this might help too:


Explainer: what is phonics and why is it important?


https://theconversation.com/explainer-w ... tterbutton
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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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Re: Aus: Debate - 'Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:34 am

Five from Five

Research Brief 2

Systematic synthetic phonics


Dr Jennifer Buckingham


http://www.fivefromfive.org.au/wp-conte ... 07/rb2.pdf
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Re: Aus: Debate - 'Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:37 am

Sir Kevan Collins, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation in England, steps into the phonics debate as he has connections in Australia:

‘Scandal’ that kids struggle to read: phonics expert

by Rebecca Urban


https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation ... y-comments

Teachers have been urged to set aside personal ideologies that have prevented the widespread adoption of phonics instruction in schools, with a leading international education advocate describing it as scandalous that many children are struggling to read properly.

In Australia to promote an education initiative aimed at disadvantaged students, Kevan Collins, head of Britain’s multimillion-dollar Education Endowment Foundation, said it was disappointing to see “political noise and guff” continue to distort an issue as important as learning to read.

The former primary school teacher has also thrown support behind the federal government’s push to introduce mandatory phonics checks for Year 1 students, which has been rolled out in South Australia but resisted so far by other states.

“Out of all the areas of education research, the one that we know the most about is learning to read,” Sir Kevan told The Australian.

“We know there’s an explicit code to learning to read — 26 letters, 44 sounds and so on — and it can and should be taught to children in a systematic way.

“It’s almost a scandal that we’ve got children attending school every day for six or seven years and at the end of it they can’t read.”

Sir Kevan’s comments come off the back of a high-profile debate on the merits of phonics held in Sydney earlier this week, where opponents of systematic phonics instruction suggested that learning to read began at infancy and it was parents’ responsibility to expose their children to language, books and story­telling in the home.

However, Sir Kevan dismissed that argument, stressing that teachers had no control over a child’s home environment but were in a position to make a difference via their teaching once that child came to school. He said most children would not learn to read simply by being immersed in a literary environment.

“I have no time for people who won’t put the teacher at the centre of the process,” he said.

Social Ventures Australia director Matthew Deeble, who heads up Evidence for Learning, a local spin-off of the Education Endowment Foundation, said the explicit teaching of phonics was a proven way that teachers could make a difference, especially in the case of disadvantaged children who might not have had extensive exposure to literature in their early years.

“A lot of the focus of (the debate) was on early literacy in the home. I would rather it have been on phonics and how to deliver effective phonics instruction,” Mr Deeble said.

Sir Kevan dismissed a claim raised in Tuesday’s debate suggesting Britain’s introduction of a phonics check for six-year-olds had had a negative impact on reading standards. “Results in reading have improved and the attainment gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students has narrowed,” he said.
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Re: Aus: Debate - 'Phonics in context is NOT enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:46 am

Belinda Dekker writes a heartfelt piece unpicking the phonics debate - and her piece is packed full of great evidence - really worth reading:

Phonics debate embracing the evidence

Phonics in context debate 2018


https://dekkerdyslexia.wordpress.com/20 ... -evidence/

I thought seriously about attending the debate. But I knew it would make me angry listening to the same old ridiculous arguments trotted out by the negative team. Listening to it online they certainly didn’t disappoint. I have heard every one of the points time and time again. Seems to be a theme in any phonics debate that the negative team bring out arguments that they have no substantiated evidence for but have become accepted knowledge in the teaching universe. Teachers seem to be in a bubble of ignorance that they hand down to the new generation of teachers. I was a teacher for 10 years so don’t throw the teaching bashing thing back at me!

The negative side was actually hard to analyse because it seemed to lack substance, be emotive and verged on the fluffy side of the debate. I don’t know if this was a deliberate attempt to confuse the audience or showed a level of ignorance on the part of negative side.

Most of all listening to the debate made me so sad. Sad that parents seemed to be lumped with a lot of the blame.





About Belinda Dekker:

Dekker Delves into Dyslexia
Advocate for the introduction of the phonics check in Australia. Advocate for the teaching of evidence based literacy instruction for every child in every school. The explicit and systematic teaching of Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension. Advocate for Dyslexia Awareness I support reputable organisations such as the Australian Dyslexia Association (ADA), Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA), the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), the FIVE from FIVE Project, and the International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction (IFERI) AUSPELD and State-based SPELD organisations, as they all recommend the use of EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENTS/PROGRAMS for learning difficulties. Mum to 2 delightful, amazing and creative kids. Mum to a kid with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia and anxiety. Admin of Dyslexia Support Australia Group, Dyslexia Awareness Australia and Dyscalculia Awareness Australia. Board of Directors SPELD NSW 10 Years a High School Teacher All my opinions are based not only on experience as a teacher, a mum and an administrator of Australia’s largest Dyslexia Support group but on research. I believe in the scientific method and the need for education to meet the same rigorous evidence based standards as the medical profession.

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