"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, May 01, 2016

An excellent proposal for Australia: Invest in libraries and librarians, not phonics checks.

Sent to the Australian Financial Review May 1

The London School of Economics study, contrary to the description in  "Simon Birmingham's 'excellent proposal'," (May 1), did NOT show a strong effect for phonics.  The positive impact wore off quickly, and was largely gone by grade 5. This result is consistent with other research showing that intensive phonics instruction only helps children on tests in which they pronounce words out-loud presented to them in a list.  It does not help them on tests in which they have to understand what they read.  Research consistently shows that the cause of real reading ability is doing a lot of self-selected pleasure reading.
Australian schools don't need phonics checks. They need a greater investment in libraries and librarians.  For children of poverty, the library is often their only source of reading material.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

original article: http://www.afr.com/leadership/innovation/simon-birminghams-excellent-proposal-a-phonics-test-for-year-1-students-20160501-goj8ps#ixzz47Sc3lYes
This letter posted at: http://tinyurl.com/gobe99a
Some sources:
Other research on phonics: Garan, E. (2001). Beyond the smoke and mirrors: A critique of the National Reading Panel report on phonics. Phi Delta Kappan 82, no. 7 (March), 500-506.Krashen, S. 2009. Does intensive decoding instruction contribute to reading comprehension? Knowledge Quest 37 (4): 72-74.
Self-selected pleasure reading: Krashen, S. 2004. The Power of Reading. Second edition. Portsmouth: Heinemann and Westport: Libraries Unlimited; Lee, S. Y. 2007. Revelations from Three Consecutive Studies on Extensive Reading. Regional Language Center (RELC) Journal , 38 (2), 150-170.
Impact of libraries: Lance, Keith. The Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement. http://www.lrs.org/impact.php; Krashen, S, Lee, S.Y. and McQuillan, J. 2012. “Is the Library Important? Multivariate Studies at the National and International Level.” Journal of Language and Literacy Education 8 no. 1: 26-36.

No comments:

Post a Comment