The teaching of phonics in the early years of reading has been a contested issue for decades now.
While all teachers believe an understanding of the area provides a critical foundation for beginning readers, the ways in which it is taught by different teachers - the blended approach versus commercial synthetic phonics programs - has led to the oft-quoted "reading wars".
However, with states such as NSW and SA implementing mandatory Year 1 phonics screening checks, it's clear that phonics - however it is taught - is being placed front and centre.
In this interview early reading expert Professor Beryl Exley from Griffith University explains a number of points: the importance of not teaching phonics in isolation, different types of phonics instructions, the era of 'whole language', and how excellent reading instruction informs high-quality writing.Do you have an idea for a story?
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