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Explain and comment on the methods taught in primary schools and at home used to help children learn to read and write

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Introduction

Explain and comment on the methods taught in primary schools and at home used to help children learn to read and write. Children's learning to read and write from an early age is essential to their growth in the educational and working aspects of their lives. There have been many theories and methods used to teach children to read and write and to develop that knowledge. This essay will explain and discuss some of these methods. This will include theories by David Crystal, Gunther Kress, Jeanne S. Chall and B.M. Kroll. Also included will be some methods used to teach children to read and write, such as the "Look and Say" method taken from Oxford Reading Tree reading books, and the phonetics exercises taken from Jolly Phonics workbooks. It has been said that the real insight into a child's progress is literacy as it is seen as a way of opening a child's mind to logical and imaginative thinking as well as their intellectual and emotional development. As a result emphasis in primary school curriculums has been on teaching children to read. An example of one of the methods used can be found in David Crystal's book "Language Development in School", where he explains the use of "Basal reading programmes". He says in his text that Basal reading programmes are "widely used in the U.S.... a large-scale system of preparatory texts, graded readers, workbooks, tests and other materials". Crystal also comments on the advantages of this method as "comprehensive, graded, carefully planned, children get to know the characters, settings etc". Crystal describes the disadvantages as "expensive, can be used inflexibly, does not promote an exploratory use of language outside the scheme". ...read more.

Middle

The phonic approach focuses on the sounds of words. Children are taught the relationship between sounds and letters or words, and are encouraged to "sound out" a word they have trouble reading. An extract from a Jolly Phonics workbook "She looks down and says a, a, a, ants" shows that the child focus on specific sounds to help develop their reading, they are also given exercises to help their writing skills by writing out the particular letter or sound they are focusing on. This method is effective because it is simple as well as stimulating, as the child is taught to brake down words by using sounds and the repetition of sounds also helps the child keep this new knowledge in their mind. Not only does the phonetic approach introduce the alphabet sounds, it also introduces common word beginnings and ends, for example "qu", "ai", "oo" etc. These sounds are also introduced with an action to represent the motion or tone of the sound, this is called visual learning, which is effective because once again it is stimulating and simple. The "look and say" method focuses on reading individual words as wholes, as oppose to breaking down letters and sounds. After analysing an extract from an Oxford Reading Tree book, I found that the picture took up most of the double page, giving a child a large indication of what is happening, making it easier for them to recognise the words on the page. The sentences are simple and declaratives, for example "They ran to the sea. Wilf picked up a shell". There are also very few syllables in the words, the word with the most syllables being "coconut", which also makes the text quite basic. ...read more.

Conclusion

These are exercises given on sheets that clearly indicate what needs to be done. In this case it is a letter to Santa Claus. The sheet is bordered with Christmas trees and a picture of Santa and his reindeer at the bottom, also in big bold letters at the top it says "Dear Santa", clearly indicating to Mary what this sheet is about. In this exercise we can see Kroll's theory of children writing phonetically around this age as Mary misspells words like please and writes "plese" also she misspells have and writes "hav". She also writes the d's in teddy the wrong way round so they look like b's, showing her understanding of letter formation has not developed as much. She also misspells from as "form", which may have shown a sign of rushing or laziness. After researching and looking at the theories of some of the linguists I have found that I have come to agree with the individualised programme mentioned earlier. I found that a child will only learn if engaged and interested, and also having some level of independence causes them to use creative thinking and broaden their imagination. This also gives them skills for research and independent learning that they will need in later life. I also agree with the phonetic approach to teaching children to read. I agree with this as again it engages the child into what is being taught, for at a young age a child tends to focus on sounds and actions around them than focusing on a page. Also the repetition of the sounds and the actions that go with them helps with reading a lot more as it is easier for them to read by sounding out, but also teaches them the structure of words and sounds. ?? ?? ?? ?? Trishna Shah ...read more.

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