About the series
This booklet is one of a series about the teaching of language, literacy and English to children and young people aged 3 to 19.The aim of the series is to inspire and inform debate about school strategy.The booklets draw on seminal studies and development work carried out over many years.
The series is a co-publication between the United Kingdom Literacy Association and Owen Education, an independent school-improvement agency.
About this booklet
This booklet aims to demonstrate that learning to read is a complex, meaning-making process which should continually reward the learner by giving pleasure. It is critical of simplistic understandings of reading which claim that one or other ‘method’ is the sole means by which children learn to read effectively.The booklet willingly recognises that the apprehension of grapho-phonic correspondences is one of the means by which readers get meaning from texts. However, it is urgently critical of the UK government’s imposition of synthetic phonics as the near-exclusive method of teaching beginning readers in early-years settings and primary schools in England.The booklet concludes by offering an alternative curriculum for reading 3 to 7, which is better grounded in sound theory about beginning reading than are the current statutory arrangements in England.
The booklet is a revised, expanded and updated version of John Richmond’s Teaching Reading: How To, published by UKLA in 2013.