Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


More phonics or less for teaching reading?

MEDIA RELEASE 21 July 2003

More phonics or less for teaching reading?

The use of phonics to teach children how to read is called into question by international research undertaken by Victoria University’s School of Education in collaboration with overseas colleagues.

Dr Brian Thompson, Senior Research Associate in the School, says his findings show interesting differences between New Zealand adults and a sample of adults in the UK who have been taught by phonics.

“It appears more phonics teaching at school can interfere with the subsequent long-term development of some more advanced aspects of reading skill,” he says.

“New Zealand adults who were taught reading without phonics at primary school are found to have better reading skills for unfamiliar words, and especially those with the more complex letter-sound patterns of English.

“These New Zealand adults were compared to a matched sample of adults from a region of the United Kingdom who had received far more phonics teaching at primary school.”

Dr Thompson says his research will undoubtedly bring a new perspective to opposing community opinions on the use of phonics as a way of teaching reading. In recent years these strongly held opinions have entered the political arena of educational policy.

His findings will be presented in a public seminar at Victoria University of Wellington School of Education on Thursday 24 July, 12.10pm-1pm in Room E101, Education Prefabs, Gate 6, Kelburn Parade.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>