Powerful reading message

1st September 2000 at 01:00
FOR hundreds of Reading Recovery teachers reading about Anthony Feiler's study ("Strugglers receive less help in the classroom", TES, August 4) the only surprise would be that this is considered news. As long ago as 1982, Marie Clay observed that, during their first year at school, high-progress readers read in class around 3,570 words and poor readers only 757.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that what reading the low-achieving child does experience is, in most cases, in text which is too hard for him or her.

Little wonder that our struggling readers find itmore difficult to learn strategies for solving reading problems, than their more fortunate peers do.

For 10 years Reading Recovery teachers in the UK have taken these powerful messages back to their schools and changed the experience of children who find it hardest to learn. When will the programme be funded properly, so that all teachers are not just aware of children's reading problems, but have effective means to solve them?

Julia Douetil

Reading Recovery trainer and national co-ordinator

Instutute of Education

20 Bedford Way, London WC1

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