'To be or not to be?': the politics of teaching phonics in England and New Zealand

Soler, Janet and Openshaw, Roger (2007). 'To be or not to be?': the politics of teaching phonics in England and New Zealand. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 7(3) pp. 333–352.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1468798407083662

URL: http://ecl.sagepub.com/content/7/3.toc

Abstract

There is currently intense national and international interest in which particular methods of teaching reading are the most effective for early literacy acquisition. The great bulk of research work that is cited in these debates, however, focuses almost exclusively on the evaluation and comparison of particular programmes underpinned either by phonics or whole language approaches (Soler and Openshaw, 2006). Despite the fact that policy makers and literacy educators around the world are able to draw upon a common body of literacy research, there is a huge variation in the extent to which phonics is adopted as the major programme in different national contexts. This article provides a comparative study of the widely differing reception accorded the teaching of phonics in England and New Zealand respectively.

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