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Teaching literacy a complex mix of methods

Teaching reading is mired in theory, with too little focus on practical skills. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

Teaching reading is mired in theory, with too little focus on practical skills. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

A recent report by the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Studies suggests there are significant concerns that teachers are not fully equipped to teach reading.

The report is a result of an audit of teacher education courses with a view to finding out how and in what manner teachers are trained in university courses to teach reading to young children.

Of course, the teaching of reading is central to the role of a primary classroom teacher and for perhaps as long as a century the best way to teach reading has been the subject of research, investigation and analysis.

When a teacher introduces a learner to the intricacies of decoding text, they start with the fundamental principle, the alphabet, the symbols that unlock the puzzle of reading. This is followed by teaching the relationship between sound and symbol.

This is known in education as “teaching grapho-phonic relationships”.

(Read full article in Brisbane Times)

Literacy Council: The gift of literacy

What makes a perfect Christmas gift? Is it the latest iPad? The biggest TV? Maybe it’s a diamond ring for a special someone.

Most could agree that the perfect Christmas gift is something that makes another person happy; something they desire and could use to enhance their daily lives, whether that’s watching the game on a bigger TV or having a little extra bling on your finger. But what about a gift that doesn’t involve waiting in line for hours, doesn’t require hundreds of dollars, yet comes with a lifetime guarantee. How about a gift that will forever enhance someone’s life?

There is such a gift. It’s literacy.

The power of literacy lies not only in one’s ability to read and write, but in a person’s ability to understand the world around them. Functional literacy includes reading, technology skills and knowledge of health, math and money. There are about 30 million functionally illiterate American adults. That’s 30 million people whose lives are negatively impacted because they lack the basic skills to follow medical directions, order from menus, navigate city streets and complete online forms for things such as insurance, jobs or travel arrangements.

Functional literacy increases the chance for people to reach their full potential as parents, employees and community members. Without Functional literacy, people fail themselves, their children and their community.

(Read the rest of this article on the original site)

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