I Read It but I Don't Get It

In: English and Literature

Submitted By them
Words 3251
Pages 14
I read it but I don’t get it[1]

The title of my article is a title of a book by Cris Tovani but more of that later!

I want to explore why I feel that Ken Rowe’s literacy report misses the complexity of literacy development in young people– at least from my secondary perspective. Of course he covers some bases and on the surface suggests a balanced approach. He is also right that teachers need to be better educated about reading practices. However, the emphasis on phonics which has been widely reported in the media appears disproportionate to its usefulness. Some students can manage to read and spell without phonics so why do we need to occupy their brains with phonemes or phonic practices. Others need them. The informed primary teacher differentiates accordingly. What Ken Rowe does not focus on is the literacy needs of young people in secondary schools where decoding is less of a problem than comprehension. For many students reading is meaningless – particularly fiction. The Four Resource Model of Allan Luke and Peter Freebody[2] outlines what students need to do as they read:
Effective literacy draws on a repertoire of practices that allow learners, as they engage in reading and writing activities, to: • break the code of texts: recognising and using the fundamental features and architecture of written texts including: alphabet, sounds in words, spelling, conventions and patterns of sentence structure and text • participate in the meanings of text: understanding and composing meaningful written, visual and spoken texts from within the meaning systems of particular cultures, institutions, families, communities, nation-states and so forth; • use texts functionally: traversing the social relations around texts; knowing about and acting on the different cultural and social functions that various texts perform both…...

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