An edited version of the letter below was published in The Australian of Friday 6 March 2015. It was in response to a news report (an "exclusive") by Justine Ferrari in the previous day's edition. The underlined words were deleted and the bracketed ones inserted. As always, the editing is interesting. The paper did not identify me as AATE president. Perhaps space demands did not allow that extra line.
The paper combined my paragraphs into three.
Dichotomies unhelpful in discussing teaching (my heading)
Of meaning and reading (the paper's heading)
It was heartening to see Dr Louisa Moats, apparently a US educational expert, reported as saying that "the evidence was very strong that a multi-component approach worked best in teaching reading, not just phonics or comprehension" ("'Tide of disregard' for language kills reading", 5/3). Too often in these pages the teaching of reading is inaccurately presented as a simple either-or alternative, phonics vs (versus) whole language.
Dr Moats was further reported as sensibly describing debate over (on) the role of phonics in teaching reading as often presenting "a false dichotomy".
She also mentioned some other unhelpful dichotomies. She described as a lax approach the belief that making meaning is more important than reading words correctly. It is important not to deduce from this that making meaning is irrelevant. If no appropriate meaning has been made, can reading really be said to have occurred, as opposed to just uncomprehendingly barking at print?
According to Moats, another lax approach is to consider that expressing ideas is more important than grammatically correct sentences. Here again, surely both are required. What use are grammatically correct sentences if no intelligible ideas are expressed?
Though I will never be a professor of education, I currently tutor part-time in teacher education courses at The University of Queensland and, in case you're wondering, I already knew what morphemes are. In fact, I was discussing them with my students in class on Tuesday.
President, Australian Association for the Teaching of English
Teacher event - external assessment
The second series of pre-external examination events will be held for teachers on Saturday 7 August as a face-to-face event and online. Recorded materials will remain available to all participants online until the examination week in October. The program for the morning will address: Learnings to date: messages from QCAA, Adv...
Darling Downs Branch presents
The Darling Downs Branch will present Everything about the external exam on Wednesday 11 August from 3:30 to 5:30pm.
Join us for an afternoon to reconnect with English colleagues, engage in discussion and explore ideas on how to prepare students for the external exam.
Grammar PD term 3
To assist attendees to develop their understandings of grammar in order to fully comprehend and to effectively teach the Australia Curriculum: English (AC:E), a further session will be held on Saturday 28 August at a venue (to be announced) in the metropolitan area. Download the flyer for further details. If your school is inter...
Student event - external assessment
Flexible modes of delivery will allow you and your students to engage with the materials at a time that suits you. Once again this event will be fully online to cater for all members and their students. This year the materials will come to you live in the afternoon of Wednesday 8 September and again in the morning of Saturda...
Pre-service teachers present
Townsville branch will present EMBEDDING INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVES IN AUSTRALIAN SHORT STORY UNIT. by a group of pre-service teachers on Saturday 16 October 2021 from 9 am till 11 am.
See the flyer for more details. Registrations will open on 1st September.
This is the first time I have been to an ETAQ conference and it was really sensational to get so much at all of the sessions.
ETAQ conferences always have sessions that make me excited to be a teacher.
I know that ETAQ conferences in the past have never disappointed - valuable, relevant, practical, inspiring so I came again.Read All