Principles and problems
Interesting little film about repetitive reading books
Discussion of reading in individual schools
One-to-one and small groups
Any instructional/observational videos of children reading decodable books, with or without a guiding adult, would be gladly received – most synthetic phonics instructional videos focus on theory and sounds learning, and on application to isolated words rather than to actual books.
There is a wide variety of approaches, but I think it’s potentially very valuable to see them all together for comparison, to see what seems to work and what may work less well.
It would be really, really valuable to have more of these, especially from the phonics schemes being used by so many English schools. Comments on the films are also most welcome.
England – Demonstration of reading instruction using Piper Books’ BRI series of decodable readers.
Northern Ireland – ‘RWI Reading the Storybook‘ – instructional video for parents.
Australia – Spelfabet: ‘Reading a Flyleaf Decodable Book‘.
US – very different, but interesting in various ways: ‘Monday Morning with Marisa‘.
US – ‘Kaylee reading decodable books 1 & 2 for the first time‘ – interesting to see child guessing from context and getting words completely wrong! Also the odd choice of an irregular high-frequency word to start the whole book.
Comment from Debbie Hepplewhite:
This video (title above) is not really a good example of a child reading a ‘decodable’ book despite the video’s title. I would suggest that it is closer to a ‘repetitive text’ book. Although the words are easy enough to decode, the animal names include a picture of the animals above their respective words and other words in the book are repeated. One of the beauties of synthetic phonics is the great variety of new words that children are empowered to decode at a very early stage indeed. The new words can be within children’s spoken language or brand new to their vocabulary. So, an early reader could include words of different construction such as ‘sat, pit, pan, tip, ant, sits, spin, span, pans, pits, spits, pants, satin’ and so on. An early reader does not need words with the same endings such as ‘sat, mat, pat, rat, hat’ and an early reader does not need masses of repetition with the book such as ‘I am a …, I am a ….., I am a ….’.
Non-Anglophone countries, reading in English:
Argentina – ‘CSA READING PROGRESSION 2007 2009 Y1 Y2 Y3‘.
Argentina – ‘Fernando FP Oct 7 2011‘.
Argentina – ‘READING 6 Y1‘.
From China – ‘Reading from a decodable book‘; the notes say ‘8-year-old Ng Heng Lin goes to a school where Mandarin is the medium of instruction. The school/education system recommends that children be taught to read English over three years, starting from when they are 7 years old. However, after following a programme that uses Phonics Fun, Decodable Books and Picture Dictionary, Heng Lin is able to fast-track his learning and compress its duration to mere weeks instead of years.’
Malaysia – ‘Year 1 boy – mid level student – decodable reading‘ The low level of difficulty for the book he’s reading is explained by the notes to the video:’This is this seven-year-old boy’s second time ever reading a decodable/phonics book in English and his first time ever reading alone.’ It is clearly part of an English-language teaching programme. My first thought with this one, though, is the lack of focus on comprehension.
Many thanks to @debbiehepp, @anneglennie, @SWLiteracy and @spelfabet.