Anorak News | Wrighting Rongs

Wrighting Rongs

by | 2nd, December 2005

‘IS it possible to understand what a paper is telling you without actually being able to read? Can you learn what the paper is saying by rote?

The three Rs: Ruth, Rubbish and Reputation

How much of a grasp on the English language do you need to read “Phwoaar!” “Stunna!” and “GOTCHA!”?

We only ask because the Sun is discussing how we learn to read in a piece entitled “back to the old school”.

Therein, the paper looks at four different ways schools teach children to read. There’s “context support”, in which a child learns to read from staring at a favourite book.

“Language experience”, damned for being the “most trendy of teaching methods”, allows children to use their own favourite words. Junior tells miss “Mummy is mean”, “I want an iPod” and “I hate you”. Teacher writes the words down. Junior reads them out.

“Look and say” teaches children to recognise words and whole sentences. Much like the Sun, this method uses flashcards. Miss holds aloft a shot of busty Nikki from Basildon. The class screams “phwoahh”. Another shot of Saucy Tina is met with a volley of “babe”. And a picture of any German has the kids strafing the classroom with imaginary guns and screaming: “Achtung! Achtung!”

But now that nice lad Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, says phonics is the way to teach English.

“Phonics: The U-turn,” announces the Mail, saying how Kelly wants every child to be familiar with the method by the age of five. Here, children are taught using something called the alphabet.

And something needs to be done. “We haven’t done well enough,” she told the BBC. Indeed, as the paper reminds us, a recent report by the education watchdog Ofsted found one in five children leave primary school unable to read properly.

Although how they find the door marked “EXIT” and “PULL” it open is anyone’s guess…’

Posted: 2nd, December 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink