Random interesting reading-related links

NB My own attempt to represent the components of reading is here; I think it should possibly be called the Complex View of Reading!

A wonderful list of old, mostly phonics-based reading instruction methods and schemes. Reading Joyce Morris’s ‘Phonics Phobia’ speech reminded me that although my very first reading books were Ladybird’s Peter and Jane series, I was very quickly allowed to pick my own from our little school library full of decades-old books, and many of the ones I picked were the Beacon Readers.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of three theoretically motivated interventions for children with reading comprehension difficulties‘ Downloadable PDF available on linked page.

Babies can form Abstract Relations before they Learn Words

‘Big Book reading’ & phonics – study.

Birdsong and human language here and here.

Brain waves show learning to read does not end in 4th Grade, contrary to popular theory

Decoding – different definitions (a really useful, interesting contribution to the understanding of the effect of the Simple View of Reading on the teaching of reading).

Dictionary of the British English Spelling System (look especially at the sections on ‘dual functioning’ and ‘surfacing’ letters).

Form–meaning links in the development of visual word recognition
‘In this paper…we ask whether there is a role to be played by other aspects of oral language, beyond phonology. The rationale here is simple: integral to a word being a lexical item is the fact that it has meaning. Thus, in addition to familiar words comprising phonological and orthographic representations, they also have semantic representations. Do these make any contribution to the development of word reading?’

Guided reading – a really good, straightforward blog on its weaknesses here.

Hear Jane read: researcher gives new meaning to semantics

Hearing the Voice is a large interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing led by researchers at Durham University and funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Hearing Words, Writing Sounds

Introduction to teaching phonics – by Diane McGuinness.
Irregular Words? – from Spelfabet.
John Walker’s new alphabet‘ – very clear training activity to show what it’s like for a child learning to read.
‘Incidental’ phonics teaching: Debbie Hepplewhite’s handout explains her view that phonics teaching can be tailored to the progress of the individual child. NB There is anecdotal evidence of children being kept on book bands which are too easy because they have not yet reached a certain point in their school’s phonics scheme. The ‘incidental’ approach means that systematic phonics should not lead to phonics-scheme-based restriction of which books children read. Of course this is not the only objection which some have to SSP, but I think it’s really important point to be aware of this solution, hence my including it here.

Learning to read involves tricking the brain

Made-up Words in Children’s Books

Mama, Dada, etc – research on how children learn words in related groups. See also here.

Multi-syllable words: some really useful guidance here in relation to using SSP sounding and blending techniques on multi-syllable words. NB One thing I’d disagree with is the suggested ‘chunking’ of -ing words. Personally I’ve found that consistently treating ‘ing’, ‘ly’ etc as suffix chunks is helpful, so where the linked guidance suggests ‘cas-ting’ I’d go for ‘cast-ing’, since ‘cast’ is easy to sound and blend, and I feel that introducing some awareness of -ing, -ly -ed etc as very common ‘chunks’ with a particular use & meaning will support grammar work. I’ve found that most children I read with will come across these issues well before they begin learning about prefixes and suffixes in class, so the explanation needs to be ‘incidental’ (and not too off-puttingly complicated), in the same way that sounds from later in a scheme need to be introduced ‘incidentally’ for these readers.

Nature, nurture, and expertise‘ (Genetics and reading comprehension ability at age 12; accompanying Slate piece talking about the implications of this article and others can be found here.)

New insights into how young and developing readers make sense of words

Phonics & children who stammer

Phonics teaching and children with speech difficulties


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