Reading Development and Teaching

Books

Morag Stuart & Rhona Stainthorp

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright

    Acknowledgements

    This book is dedicated to a host of wonderful grandchildren

    Amelia, Jake and Theo

    Patrick, Alex, Charlie, Ben and Tommy; Lydia, Lucia, Olive, Indigo, Yolanda, Jude, Eden and Clemmie

    The next generation.

    Chapter 2

    Outline of contents

    The overarching aim of this book is to describe what is currently known about the processes involved in reading, the ways in which these processes develop as children learn to read, and the kinds of teaching that can foster their development.

    The two chapters in Part 1 provide, in Chapter 1, a tutorial review of language concepts relevant to the development of word reading skills, with their associated linguistic terminology and, in Chapter 2, a presentation of the Simple View of Reading (SVoR), which proposes there are two interacting dimensions of reading. After the Rose report (Rose, 2006), the SVoR was adopted as the framework for considering reading in the National Literacy Strategy, and in initial teacher education. It now also forms the basis on which reading development is considered in the revised National Curriculum Programme of Study for English (Department for Education, 2014). It therefore seemed sensible to organize our book according to this conceptual framework.

    Part 2 deals with visual word recognition processes, and Part 3 with comprehension of spoken and written language. Part 4 changes focus to deal with assessment, and atypical development of word reading skills and of comprehension of spoken and written language.

    Acknowledgements

    Both authors began teaching in London Boroughs in the 1960s. Concerns about the difficulties that some pupils experienced with reading motivated them both at different times to go to Birkbeck College, University of London, to read psychology. We owe a great debt to the Birkbeck Psychology department for opening our minds to the world of psychological research and for showing us how this can help teachers to understand the needs of their pupils.

    Both authors eventually went on to do their PhDs in reading development. Our supervisors, Max Coltheart (MS) and Maggie Snowling (RS), guided us into careers researching reading development. We thank them for their academic guidance and friendship.

    We eventually had the good fortune to end up working together at the Institute of Education, University of London (now the University College London, Institute of Education). This was fun and together we developed the MA in the Teaching and Learning of Reading and Writing. This course was designed to provide teachers with the evidence about the development of literacy that informs this book. The reactions of teachers on the MA have been instrumental in encouraging us to write this book. They said things like: ‘…Why did no one tell us about this before?’ and ‘So that’s why XX is having such difficulty’. We are committed to enabling teachers to access the evidence about the development of reading so that they will be able to develop their own rational approaches to teaching literacy.

    Research benefits from collaboration. We must acknowledge the years of intellectual support and friendship that we have received from all the members of the Forum for Research in Literacy and Language (FRiLL). One of the outcomes from the group’s collaboration has been the Diagnostic Test of Word Reading Processes (2012) referenced in this book. We believe this test is tangible evidence of how the psychological research into reading can eventually lead to a practical, evidence-based resource to support teachers, educational psychologists and pupils who need their help.

    At various times in the last 20 years we have been able to talk about our ideas and work with Sir Jim Rose. We are immensely grateful to him for all the support and encouragement that he has given us. He has paved the way for us to have opportunities to influence the curriculum for English: we hope for the better. Long may the three of us continue to put the world to rights.

    It would be disingenuous of us not to admit that writing can be difficult and all-consuming. It can make one bad-tempered and self-centred. We have supported each other throughout the time of writing this book: but more importantly we have both received the selfless and unwavering support of our husbands: Bob Gray and Allan Quimby. All we can do is to thank them as graciously as possible.

  • Finale

    Knowledge is always a work in progress. Some of the ideas we have presented here may ultimately turn out to be incorrect, or to require modification. In writing the book, we have inevitably made choices. In the interests of brevity and clarity, we have omitted both ideas and knowledge that deserved to be included. We hope we have provided enough reliable, evidence-based information to allow you to begin to understand what lies beneath the miracle of reading and its development.

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