Phonics

A Brief History of ‘The Reading Wars’

By Brian Cambourne

The so-called ‘Reading Wars’ have a long history within reading education. They began as a series of competing

Over 180 literacy educators voice their concerns over Dan Tehan’s expert task force on reading

By Literacy Educators

This open letter voices the concerns of over 180 literacy educators on the composition (and implied terms of reference) of the “expert task force” created to advise the Australian Government on the teaching of phonics and reading. In his press release of 15th October 2019, the Federal Minister for Education, the Honourable Dan Tehan, announced

The flawed thinking behind a mandatory phonics screening test

By Paul Gardner

The New South Wales Government recently announced it intends to “trial an optional phonics screening test” for Year One students. This seems to be following a similar pattern to South Australia where the test, developed in the UK, was first trialled in 2017 and is now imposed on all public schools in the state. The

Here’s what Australian parents think about teaching phonics to pre-schoolers

By Stacey Campbell

Phonics remains one of the most controversial literacy instruction topics debated in Australian education. Early childhood prior-to-school settings

Teaching of synthetic phonics in Australia based on flawed evidence

By Greg Brooks

What is phonics for? Where does it fit into an overall pedagogy of literacy? Without clear answers to these questions, the contestants in the phonics debate will continue to circle each other like blindfolded prizefighters. The aim of literacy teaching is to produce readers who tackle texts on paper or screen with confidence and understanding,

How the national phonics test is failing England and why it will fail Australia too

By Misty Adoniou

A national test of phonics skills will not improve faltering literacy standards in Australia. The test is being imported from England where it has been in place since 2011. It has failed to improve national standards in reading in England. Instead the phonics frenzy of testing and practicing nonsense words that has accompanied the implementation

What’s new about dyslexia?

By Professor Albert M. Galaburda  (guest blogger from Harvard Uni)

A learning disability may be thought as a kind of ailment, difficulty, trouble, condition, even an illness in