Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13
You Are Here: Read an Article > View All Posts for the Article > Read a Post
Read a Post for Phoney Phonics: How Decoding Came to Rule and Reading Lost Meaning
Reply to this Post

Re: Re: Re: Re: Phonics Flawed Mary DeFalco

Posted By: Anthony DeFalco on August 24, 2020

John, you asked, "Does the syntax at the bottom of your post signal you wish to end this interaction?”

Yes, John, just one more reply: I conclude this discussion by stating that ou appear to be placing too much emphasis on phonics.
Furthermore, I find statements you made in your “bullet-point rejection” very problematic.

Your "bullet-point rejection …"

1) "Reading Recovery is/was a total disaster."
Oh John, where do you get such balderdash? You lived under the yoke of CC too long; you have been brain washed.
Marie Clay’s program is not available to anyone who has not been trained in the program. She did not want it to be watered down or
contaminated. Have you been trained in the program? Furthermore, John, RR does not exclude phonics.

2) "Including phonics" as a poor sop somewhere at the bottom of a bag of Constructivist strategy is not "Phonics." Absolute necessity for Systematic Phonics First, which subsumes syllabic discrimination and phonemic awareness, leading to masterful ability to Decode written English text – that is my position. You evade that without mastery of decoding, no human can read English.

John, Phonics is important but phonics instruction should never dominate reading instruction. At least half the time devoted to reading should be spent reading connected text -stories, poems, plays, trade books etc.
John, what do you know about Constructivism? Just because you have not been exposed to it or studied it doesn’t mean it’s not valid. Constructivists have always believed in beginning with the child (bridging his prior knowledge to the text at hand) and ending with the child – helping the child make connections. It, furthermore, places emphasis on higher order thinking skills/critical thinking. It does not advocate a packaged, structured phonics program. Phonetic skills are taught as the opportunity/need arises and then connected to the child’s experience.

The Constructivists want the children to be active learners in lieu of rote learners. Through scaffolding – teacher’s guidance- children learn to interact with the text. The teacher guides them in observing the visual (text, pictures, and graphics) and non visual/conceptual which includes background knowledge along with knowledge of the language structure: semantic, syntactic, and phonics systems. The teacher guides the students to use these two sources of information to construct meaning. She/he guides them in bringing together experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities. She/he guides the students in using these strategies before reading by activating prior knowledge, questioning and predicting about the text and then they read to verify their predictions.

3)"My point is proven with one simple example. In separate trials, hand a newspaper to two children, one who can decode, the other who cannot. Pick a random story. A story with no pictures. Ask them to read it aloud. Ask them to put into their words what the writer of the story said. [Do not ask them their opinion, reaction, emotion, objection, or inspiration -- you can do that later.] Which one of them can read?”

Your point 3 sounds like an invalid CC standard. The passage below exemplifies the fact that phonics is only part of the decoding process. The first and last letters are correct. One must not negate the importance of syntax and semantics.
O lny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy,
it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

The lesson is obvious.

John, you concluded with: "From that, I'll ask again, if you or any other person reading this wishes to respond: My side [Systematic Phonics First, which subsumes syllabic discrimination and phonemic awareness, leading to masterful ability to Decode written text] also champions all Rich Elements of Reading anyone might hope for.
All we fight for is to not deprive the child the joy of attaining this one skill, masterful decoding, which if imparted correctly and at the correct sensitive moment, is easy, fun, and quickly attained, setting the mind up for a lifetime of rich literacy and independence.
Why do you fight so hard to destroy this?”

John, I lived through too many wars and I am going to end this one with a few thoughts to ponder. I believe that research has discovered that intensive phonics instruction showed no positive effect on reading comprehension beyond the first grade for either low-achieving or normally achieving readers. ... For low-achieving kids, for normally achieving kids, any effects of phonics instruction washed out after grade one.
Some authorities such as those who wrote the Nation of Readers recommend that phonics instruction be completed by the end of the second grade.

Heavy, systematic phonics instruction is not necessary. Children who have been given the opportunity to do a great deal of interesting, comprehensible reading and have less decoding instruction, perform as well as or better than children in decoding-emphasis classes on decoding tests, and typically score higher on tests that test what really counts in reading: comprehension.
Thread Hierarchy
 Phonics Flawed Mary DeFalco by Anthony DeFalco on August 22, 2020
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue