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Don't buy this phonics snake oil

Wendy Scott cocoons herself from the overwhelming evidence in arguing for a later start to phonics. Most schools start at age four and private schools at three.

For the front cover of The Phonics Handbook, that I publish, we chose children aged four. Overseas, particularly in the Far East, the use of phonics to teach English (as a second language) is commonplace at three and four. In this competitive world it is likely Ms Scott's advice, inadvertently, will simply help those not affected by it.

Chris Jolly

Managing director, Jolly Learning Ltd, High Road

Chigwell, Essex

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