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Just when you thought it was safe: synthetic phonics and syncretic literacy practices

Rosowsky, A. (2005) Just when you thought it was safe: synthetic phonics and syncretic literacy practices. English in Education, 39 (3). pp. 32-46. ISSN 0425-0494


Until just recently one might have been forgiven for considering the ‘Reading’ debate to have been amicably resolved, with, at the end of the twentieth century, a negotiated consensus reached comprised of all sides in the debate agreeing on a balanced approach to the teaching of initial reading. However, the recent intervention of the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee with its report, Teaching Children to Read, and its advocacy of synthetic phonics, has once again brought the teaching of reading in UK schools to public attention. This paper seeks to provide an interesting comparative example of a UK literacy context where synthetic phonics is employed regularly and systematically. Thousands of British schoolchildren attend mosque schools on a daily basis where they learn how to read the Classical Arabic of the Qur’an. They are taught how to decode the text accurately and fluently using synthetic phonics methods. This literacy practice is described and suggestions are made about what it might have to contribute to the discussion around the adoption of synthetic phonics in mainstream schools

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Reading, literacy, decoding, synthetic phonics, mosque, Muslim
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr A Rosowsky
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2010 10:06
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 04:03
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1754-8845.2005.tb00623...
Status: Published
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1754-8845.2005.tb00623.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/42619

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