Phonics story often told

10th July 1998 at 01:00
Congratulations to Sue Palmer on her pertinent review of Diane McGuinness's book Why Children Can't Read (TES, June 12). It echoed my own misgivings and, no doubt, those of numerous other British educational practitioners.

Professor McGuinness should be made aware of the many other equally valid schemes that have preceded hers and continue to flourish. In the Sixties - when (curiously enough) a compatriot of hers, Rudolph Flesch had caused a stir with his book Why Johnny Can't Read - my own classroom experience and research led to the publication of the phonically-structured Books of Word Families which have been school bestsellers for more than 30 years.

In more recent years, many other excellent and successful phonically-based schemes have been devised which form an intrinsic part of our current literacy drive.

Nixie Taverner Waylands Hurstbourne Tarrant Andover, Hampshire

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