Letters Extra: We must hear them

24th January 2003 at 00:00

When the Literacy Strategy was introduced, John Stannard said: "Teachers will not listen to children read, but teach them how to read."nbsp;

Clearly henbsp;and the authors of the Strategy misconstrued the nature of listening to reading.nbsp;It was never a passive activity, but interactive, supportive andnbsp;analytical.nbsp;

A crucial point that Sue Palmer left out of her values of reading aloud was that of regular and personal formative assessment.

Teachers had (and have) instant information about the child's decoding strategies and abilities (including phonics), their understandingnbsp;punctuation, of the forms of written English and of the text as a whole.

Therefore it is imperative that teachers (as well as as many other peoplenbsp;as possible) 'hear reading.'nbsp;

Luckily, many teachers - especially infant teachers - were also more than uneasy about the proscription of individual reading aloud, and they havenbsp;found many ways to continue this.nbsp;

Some have done it in their Literacy lessons, others at playtimes and lunchtimes, some never adopted thenbsp;Strategy, and many who did have moved away from its detailed prescription.

Unfortunately, it is probable that some (perhaps inexperienced) teachers have followed the Strategy's edicts to the letter, and some children willnbsp;have missed out.nbsp;

L Boztasnbsp;
Alma Road

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