This practical guide considers the research evidence that is needed to inform enlightened practice, and offers concrete suggestions and teaching approaches for early years settings and classrooms. This comprehensive book shows the ‘what,’ the ‘how,℉ and the ‘why’ of innovative, creative practice for teaching language and literacy. The author clearly examines how young children learn to use both spoken and written language, and shows how to assess, plan and teach for the effective learning of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Each chapter includes case studies, learning and teaching suggestions, and further reading.

Learning to Read and Write: Print and Sound Awareness

Learning to read and write: Print and sound awareness

[R]esearch indicates that the skilful reader's remarkable ability to recognise printed words derives from a deep and ready knowledge of their composite sequences of letters along with the connections of those spellings to speech and meaning.

(Adams, 1993: 207)


In the above quotation, Adams is calling upon the huge body of research evidence that redresses the balance of the much quoted, but now discredited, claim that reading is a ‘psycholinguistic guessing game’ (Goodman, 1976). It is not, unfortunately and quite evidently, as straight forward as that. We have seen from the previous chapter that this ‘top-down’ processing or meaning making is an important part of the literacy process but there ...

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