Some really interesting research
As many of my readers will know, I feel passionately about helping pupils to read French accurately and confidently so that they can look up their own stuff and say what they want. So I often work on Phonics with my classes. Well, I recently did some research to find out more of the theory on this and was really pleased to find some great articles on a site called Brain Connection. I read the article on “Decoding: The Connection to Reading Skills” which is mainly about first language acquisition (English in this case), but the same principles apply to learning a new language too. A talk I attended by Rachel Hawkes of Comberton Village College gave me the courage to go ahead and do more sound work. And the result is the Phonics Powerpoint in the Teacher stuff page. It’s not perfect by any means, but teachers and pupils in my school seem to find it helpful! If you visit the Brain Connection site there is also some good research on how music helps learning, which i’m also really interested in. It’s quite amazing how well we can remember things once they are put to music. The only trouble is it’s hard to listen to the song again and remember the real words! My friend Leigh McClelland at Comberton has done some really cool work on this, and she has definitely inspired me to think up some ideas for teaching with song.