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April 5, 2020

Pressley and Afflerbach’s (1995) assertion that comprehension was a moment by moment process affected by complex interactions influenced by numerous factors led to concerns around strategies instruction.  There was a growing recognition that reading comprehension was a more context-sensitive and dynamic process that required a more flexible approach and a more complex view of teaching rather than the accepted strategy-based appr...

March 31, 2020

The eventual decline of the Roman empire resulted in a waning of the dominance of Latin across Europe as it retreated to Rome along with its armies, its legislators and its administrators.  Local, tribal languages that had been submerged but not overwhelmed by the Roman tongue were free to re-emerge, expand and dilute the dominance of Latin (Crystal, 1995). 

Their time in the sun was, nonetheless, short-lived. The retreat of...

June 2, 2019

For reading to be fluent it must be accurate, at a reasonable rate and prosodic (Kuhn and Stahl, 2003).  Accuracy and speed pertain to decoding automaticity and the word superiority effect (Reicher, 1969 – more here) but prosody (the ability to make oral reading sound like authentic oral speech (Rasinski et al., 2011)) is more nuanced and demanding to identify.

Prosody focuses on the features of speech that are layered...

September 1, 2018

By the late nineteenth century in the United States the vice-like grip of the whole-word method on initial reading instruction and the reliance on the McGuffy Reader was starting to diminish as the long-term effects of the method were starting to become evident.  Pupils made apparently huge initial strides in reading fluency in the early grades, but as Smith notes from a contemporary journal ‘…pupils in the higher grades are not...

December 17, 2017

You want your students to go university.  Of course you do.  That's why you track them so carefully.  So what are you tracking?  Well, you track them against standardised scores and grade outcomes in the hope you can predict their SATs results and GCSE and A-level grades, but do you track their reading automaticity and fluency?

Thought not. 

In primary schools they track phonic competency until the end of year one (...

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