'Print-to-Speech vs. Speech-to-Print: What these terms mean and why we need both when teaching reading' Anna Desjardins

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'Print-to-Speech vs. Speech-to-Print: What these terms mean and why we need both when teaching reading' Anna Desjardins

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:34 pm

This is a really good and important piece by Anne Desjardins because there seems to be a bit of snobbery and hierarchy (Anna describes the scenario as, 'confusing and unnecessarily divisive') when it comes to arguments about which approach is best for teaching reading - print to speech or speech to print.

Print-to-Speech vs. Speech-to-Print: What these terms mean and why we need both when teaching reading

by Anna Desjardins


https://fivefromfive.com.au/blog/print- ... ng-reading

Two sides of a single coin – speech-to-print, print-to-speech – let’s not devalue the currency.

By Anna Desjardins

In the world of reading instruction, the terms print-to-speech and speech-to-print have become confusing and unnecessarily divisive. This is because they have been used to categorise both the composite skills required for competent reading and spelling, and whole frameworks within which these composite skills can be taught.

When referring to the composite skills involved in spelling and reading (at the word level):

Print-to-speech skills are those required for decoding. To read words, graphemes (letters and letter combinations) must be translated into speech sounds, then blended together to produce spoken words in our vocabulary.

Speech-to-print skills are those required for encoding. To write words, spoken words must be segmented into speech sounds and these sounds must then be translated into graphemes.

Both of these skills rely on a knowledge of phonics (how speech sounds correspond to graphemes) and, consequently, phonics instruction is one of the crucial elements required in any comprehensive approach to teaching literacy (alongside explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension).

So far, so good. We know children need to be able to translate from print-to-speech when reading, and from speech-to-print when writing. We can help them develop these skills by teaching them phonics. However, now we hit a snag, because phonics can be taught in different ways and, unhelpfully, a dichotomy has developed between phonics instruction categorised as ‘print-to-speech’ versus instruction categorised as ‘speech-to-print’.


Do read the whole piece!

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