© 2017 Teach to Read
For the past 60 years or so, many teachers have been told that children should learn by discovery and problem solving. With this philosophy, the role of the teacher is not to teach, but to organise activities and provide the right learning environment. There is no doubt that this is effective in some situations, but for learning how to read and write words, direct teaching is more effective. Certainly a few children are able to work out the alphabetic code by themselves and some manage when they are trained to guess from a range of clues. However, many children fail to learn to read without direct teaching. In fact, all children benefit when their teacher’s role is to teach to read.
No Nonsense Phonics, by Elizabeth Nonweiler, are little books that provide practice in decoding words at the same time as developing language and curiosity about the world. They are suitable for all age groups. In addition, the two levels in No Nonsense Phonics match the two sections of the English Phonics Screening Check and there are no exception words. Unfamiliar real words provide all the practice children need to read the nonsense words in the check.
(Available from Amazon and other retailers.)
Elizabeth of Teach to Read is an experienced teacher who specialises in synthetic phonics for teaching the foundations of reading and writing.
Elizabeth advises and trains teachers and governments around the world. She is one of the authors of The reading framework: teaching the foundations of literacy (2021), providing official guidance for schools in England.
To find out more about the teaching of reading, go to
Reading Reform Foundation www.rrf.org.uk