9 Sep 2020

Easy as A-B-C? Report stokes debate about how to teach reading

From Nine To Noon, 9:38 am on 9 September 2020

A new report that looks at ways to boost New Zealand's literacy levels is stoking a decades-old debate about how best to teach children to read.

The report, The Literacy Landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand - considers what's needed across various age groups to help stop a decline in literacy levels - particularly among Maori and Pasifika students.

In looking at the early learning period, it suggests systematic phonemic awareness is needed for SOME learners - in addition to what's often "business of usual".

But advocates of systematic phonics instruction say ALL learners can benefit from that.

Kathryn talks to Literacy Landscape report author Stuart McNaughton, who is Chief Education Scientific Advisor and a professor at the University of Auckland, and Professor James Chapman from Massey University, who has written a critique of the report.

Kid boy sleeping with a textbook over his head and holding a sign with the word Help

Photo: 123RF