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Reading ability - Yr 1 vs CP


Jmd

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My daughter is in grand section, but has started the work for CP. Her French is excellent, and she is having no problems at all with the reading and writing at school. I would like to ensure that her ability to read and write in English remains at the same standard as her French. I am very aware that this can be a problem in children who move to a foreign country at an early age.

My problem is that I can't seem to find any information as to what level she would be reading to in English. I've found alsorts of sites explaining why there is a national cirriculum and what parents can do to help with reading at home, but nothing that actually tells me how well they are expected to be able to read at the end of year one.

Can anyone please give me some advice on this, or point me in the right direction.

Thanks

Julia
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I'm prepared to be shot down on this, but as far as I know there is no expectation for Year 1. There is an expectation for Key Stage 1 (end of Year 2) which can be found at

http://www.nc.uk.net/webdav/servlet/XRM?Page/@id=6001&Session/@id=D_iSWWGyVkt4ifhSuB66jP&POS[@stateId_eq_main]/@id=5816&POS[@stateId_eq_note]/@id=5816

Sorry - you'll have to cut and paste that until they sort the forum software out...
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Firstly you should note that the method of reading is very different between UK and F. In the UK it starts very simply and progresses in terms of vocabulary and complexity. The french tend to throw quite large texts at CP kids and expect them to learn it parrot fashion.

For our kid's English we have used the Oxford Reading Tree system which was used at the international school and I believe is used in a large proportion of UK schools. You can buy these on line, but if they are delivered to France you will pay additional VAT (no VAT in UK).  There is a chart which shows the mapping between each series of books and the core reading levels of the National curriculum

http://www.oup.co.uk/oxed/primary/

http://www.oup.co.uk/oxed/primary/ort/chart

regs


Richard

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I can thoroughly recommend the Oxford Reading Tree. My elder daughter used it in Reception and Yr 1, and I have been using it to teach younger daughter, aged 5 and in Grande Section, to read in English with enormous success. She now loves reading and has kept up with (maybe exceeded) Reception/Yr 1 standards.

They both loved the stories, which gain in complexity (and interest) as you go through the series. It is organised in stages, each stage contains 6 core stories and you can buy supplementary stories for each stage.

If you're interested, I have some sets to sell - Stage 1 to Stage 6. Feel free to send me a PM.

 

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I hope this is of some use. The high frequency words go up to year 2, but give a good idea of what is expected. The second part of the post is a set of reading expecations for a year 1 class (not national expectation). As Dick rightly says, children are assessed at the end of year 2, but  this should provide some idea of the scope of learning and subsequent expectations.

High frequency words for word recognition YR to Y2

Introduction

The words below are essential high frequency words which pupils will need, even to tackle very simple texts. These words usually play an important part in holding together the general coherence of texts and early familiarity with them will help pupils get pace and accuracy into their reading at an early stage. Some of these words have irregular or difficult spellings and, because they often play an important grammatical part, they are hard to predict from the surrounding text.

Teachers should teach pupils to recognise the words in context when reading, particularly during shared text work with the whole class, but the words will also need to be reinforced through other practice and exploration activities so that they can be easily read out of context as well. Through this, pupils will have a number of key reference points to hold together the structure of new or unfamiliar texts.

The list is in two sections with 45 words to be achieved by the end of YR and approximately 150 words to be learned between Years 1 and 2. These lists should be used as an aide-memoire to help teachers check that the work has been covered and to ensure that all are adequately reinforced. By the end of Y2, pupils should be able to read all these words easily, in and out of context.

Reception year

Igocomewentupyoudaywas
lookaretheofwethisdogme
likegoingbigsheandtheymysee
onawaymumitatplaynoyes
foradadcanheamall 
iscatgetsaidtoin  

 


 

Year 1 to 2

aboutcan'thermanyoverthenwho
aftercouldheremaypeopletherewill
againdidhimmorepushthesewith
andohismuchpullthreewould
anotherdon'thomemustputtimeyour
asdighousenamerantoo
backdoorhownewsawtook
balldownifnextschooltree
befirstjumpnightseentwo
becausefromjustnotshouldus
bedgirllastnowsistervery
beengoodlaughoffsowant
boygotlittleoldsomewater
brotherhadlive(d)oncetakeway
buthalfloveone
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Thank you you your replies.

I looked at the national cirriculum site, but as a lay person there appeared to be alot a management gobbledy-gook and no real information to help parents who know nothing about teaching methods.

I had a look at the oxford reading tree on Amazon; but was put off by a review saying that the first 6 books didn't have any words in them. I'll have another look. I have also seen the ladybird reading scheme, does anyone have experience of this.

Special thanks to cjb for putting things into a language I can understand. I was obviously on the right track as I have taught my daughter mopre than half of the first set of words already. I'll get on with the rest.

I am a big reader myself, and we live in a house full of books, but I had never really thought about how you taught it. Whatever they pay teachers - it's not enough!

Julia
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You're right, the first stage of the Oxford Reading Tree has no words - it's intended to encourage them to tell the story using the pictures in their own words apparently, and introduce books and reading to children who have had little experience of them before starting school.

However, all the other stages have words!

Also useful was a set of Key Stage One important words fridge magnets, and they have been very useful (not to mention an endless source of amusement for grown ups).

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'I had a look at the oxford reading tree on Amazon; but was put off by a review saying that the first 6 books didn't have any words in them. I'll have another look. I have also seen the ladybird reading scheme, does anyone have experience of this.'

I seriously think you would be making a great mistake for ignoring the whole system, based on one review and just because the first 6 don't have words - afterall  you don't have to buy these - you can start at the next level. I understand that this system is one of the best, which is why it very widely used in the UK and internationaly - it has been brilliant for our kids. You should perhaps start at level 1+ few and very simple words (mum, dad, and, it etc) If you want to start above this go for stage 2 or 3 or even 4. If you go to the interactive chart and you move the mouse over the  'stage' boxs it tells you exactly what to expect at each level.

regs

Richard

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My daughter did a year in Reception before we moved to france, using the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.  To help keep her reading skills, and to teach my younger son when he is ready, we bought the complete set of the Ladybird "Peter and Jane" books to bring to France with us.  I think they are great!  They are very repetitive, and show the new words at the bottom of each page.  They work far better for our daughter, than the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, mainly because of the repetition.  She could really get the hang of it.  All the words in the book were within her capability, whereas I found with the Oxford Reading Tree, they would put in the odd very hard word, which would make her very cross, as she couldn't work it out!!  Obviously this is only our experience, but I would recommend this set of books.

Liz 

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Like you, I think that Ladybird scheme is/was wonderful. It was good from the teacher's point of view too, because we had a chart of which words they should know so it was very easy to check that they were doing OK.

I'd love a set for my grandchildren. I've searched abe.com and Ebay with no luck. May I ask where you got yours from ?

Hoddy
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Hi,

We got our set from Ottakers Book Shop in Milton Keynes.  They had them in store.  I'm not sure if they have a web site.  I would imagine so.  My parents are still in Milton Keynes, and would be more than happy to call in and ask about availability/delivery to France if you needed them too.

Liz

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  • 3 months later...

I know this discussion was a while ago but I've only just read and can't help myself - I really feel I need to comment.  I have three children aged 8, 7 and 6 (yr 1, 2 and 3).  The eldest is my stepdaughter and was taught to read before she came to live with me 2 yrs ago.  At that time she was a more fluent reader than my eldest son.  I taught him to read using books from school - not the Oxford Reading Tree.  When he first started school they gave him a set of words to learn to read before he could start the reading scheme.  He learned 25 words (which I made sure he spelt out phonetically, didn't just learn the whole word) and then they gave him an Oxford Reading Tree book containing only one of those words (in the whole book).  I objected and said he'd found it boring and silly and could we please have some real books.  The started him on a Ginn reading scheme instead, and he was fine with this and I continued teaching him phonetically - supplementing with Ladybird readers at home.  (I later found out that the Ginn scheme was used for teaching phonetic reading).  We moved school after that to a school that only used the ORT - but by then my son was reading well phonetically so there were no problems.  My step-daughter was moved down to a level lower than she had been on because she didn't 'know' the character names, which I thought was a little odd.  My youngest son started nursery at this time - learning these character names in preparation for starting ORT when he went to primary school. 

Half way through my youngest's year 1, we started having problems with my daughter's reading in year 3.  She had slipped behind my eldest boy and was having real problems with spelling as well as frighteningly detiorated reading skills.  My eldest boy was reading ORT books way behind his ability simply because they had to all go through the scheme, at a rate of one book a week (which was usually a fortnight) but I complained to the head and ended up bringing home five of the books a week until he moved up a couple of levels.  My youngest boy (yr1) was ahead of where they expected him to be on the scheme so I wasn't aware of any problems.  He always seemed to be able to read his books when he brought them home.  However, my stepdaughter seemed to suddenly appear dyslexic in her reading and spelling - but showed no other symptoms of dyslexia.

I ended up looking long and hard at the way schools teach reading nowadays and found out that the ORT is a sight word reading scheme.  The kids learn jolly phonics at school (basically what the first sound of each letter is) but they don't learn to read phonetically.  They are shown a word and told what it is and remember it by the shape and length of the word.  They are given 'incidental phonics' in that they learn spelling groups all through primary school but this is really not at the right time or amount to learn to correctly read phonetically.  Some kids get away with it - but up to 40% of kids start showing dyslexic symptoms like my daughter did.  Usually in year 3, when their brain is overloaded with pictures of words and can't take any more and when they are suddenly expected to decode words when they've never done it before.  Then what? They get sent to remedial reading classes - where they teach them to read phonetically.  Why not just do that in the first place?

I did a reading test on my three.  YR1 - ORT from the start and now at level 5: came up as a non-reader.  He couldn't read the word 'hen' and yet he could supposedly read 'anniversay' and 'grandparent' in his school readers.  He could spell 'hen' but not read it - we haven't had that word yet.  YR2 - came up as 4 years ahead of his age group (the one I had taught phonetically without realising that wasn't what they were doing at school).  YR3 - one year behind

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The sight-reading (known as look and say) method of reading teaching that you describe is the one they use in France. It is called the 'methode globale' and is very controversial here. Some people claim it is producing a generation of children who are unable to read adequately when they reach college (ie secondary school). I was quite worried about it, as in Grande Section my son was doing a lot of work on the shapes of words, and I feared the worst as it really does seem a daft way to learn to read.

In fact as it turned out, in his particular school, they ended up doing a lot of work in the CP on letter groups and sounds as well as the look and say stuff. And now, at the end of CP, he can read pretty well, and not just from books  he knows.

From the age of 5 I taught him to read English, using various commercially available workbooks plus Oxford Reading Tree. It worked really well. Phonics is an important part of learning to read but it is not the only part. When you teach a child to read you soon realise that very many words are simply not phonetic. 'Who' for example. Or 'know' and 'now'. You could get tied up in knots teaching phonetic rules for these, or you can simply say 'that word is who, that word is know, learn them by sight and move on'. Of course you have to learn to write (ie spell them)them too. So I think a mixed approach, some 'look and say' and some phonics, is what is needed. And that is what most schools in the UK seem to use. I don't know about France beyond our school, but I have read a lot of adverse comment in the French media about the methode globale.

As for Oxford Reading Tree, we found it really useful and my son enjoyed the stories - no complaints that they were 'babyish' or 'stupid', the usual verdict of six-year-olds on things they don't want to do! I am hoping to do a bit more of it this summer. We did find that once the reading work in CP got really intense we had to leave the English reading for a while because it was too confusing for him.

Jo

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Thanks Debra for posting this.  This is very useful insight into other ways/systems of teaching children to read.

I am currently teaching my daughter by giving her lots of different reading material.  She actually memories  alot of books now, but she enjoys this so I think this can't be bad.  I know she is trying to impress me and herself too, but it is good news asthis builds her confidence. She reads a bit, but I wouldnt say 'she can read.'  I can definitely see she recognises shapes and the lengths of words, she has not fully mastered it yet and would be considered behind by UK standards, but hopefully with lots of encouragement she will be fine.

Deby

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Hi,

That a mixed method works best is a common misconception which the head teacher of my local primary school tried to tell me.  After I'd given her a lot of reading she was horrified at the damage the schools were causing some children by doing this.  She had never heard of Professor Orton or Romalda Spalding and didn't know that sight reading was invented to teach deaf mute children to use.

"When you teach a child to read you soon realise that very many words are simply not phonetic. 'Who' for example. Or 'know' and 'now'. "

This is simply not true.  My children can now tell you exactly how to mark these words to show how they work phonetically.  A very high (high 90 odd %) of English words are phonetic.  Those that aren't have a reason which can be explained to a child to help them remember how to spell them. 

If you read up on Spalding ( look at http://www.riggsinst.org/artp25.htm which includes a list of phonograms, or  http://www.donpotter.net/ed.htm which includes a lot of discussion on reading methods) you will find out that there are 40 odd sounds in the English language (44 if I remember correctly)which can be represented using 72 phonograms (combinations of letters which  make up sounds) and there are only 29 spelling rules to use. 

As Linda Shrock Taylor says (read one of her articles - there are a lot more in her archives http://www.lewrockwell.com/taylor/taylor81.html  isn't it easier to learn just 72 phonograms and 29 spelling rules than to learn the couple of thousand of words sight reading programs start you off with before learning how to build words?  You can just learn the phonograms and rules from scratch and be able to read anything straight away, whereas the national curriculum method takes nearly all of primary school to get children to the point where they can read anything - but only if they are not in the 40% of kids who have problems with the method and end up being diagnosed (unnecessarily) as dyslexic.

I've read tons on the subject and now feel quite strongly about it.  When children learn a whole word they store it as a picture in the non-dominant side of the brain, whereas when they learn to read phonetically they read the word from left to right and use the dominant side of the brain, the part of the brain that processes linguistics - and after all, print is only speech written down, so that is the correct side of the brain to use. 

The problem comes when the child starts trying to build words correctly, from left to right, later on.  Half of us don't store images in the non dominant side of the brain from left to right, but store them from right to left.  Its the children that do this (eg my daughter) that show signs of dyslexia, because when they try and train themselves to read from left to right, all those stored images of words interfere and they get mixed up.  Once a word is stored on the right (if you are right handed) side of the brain, it stays there - the child will never read that word phonetically.

Its quite frightening to watch the results of this - my daughter's reading suddenly deteriorated rapidly.    After going back to basics, learning the phonograms and doing Rudolph Flesch's reading exercises for practice, she's now a better reader than ever.  However, because she spent all those years doing sight reading she still occasionally reverts to guessing from the general shape of the word or finds it hard to break down some new words.  The parts o

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Hi,

I was a bit concerned to hear that they teach using look and say in France, but my husband tells me that Expatica have a link on their site somewhere that gives all the French phonograms with an audio link to hear the sounds.  Apparently one of our learn French courses has this too, so I guess we'd better get on with that once we're happy with the level of English reading and spelling our kids have!

Debra

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  • 3 weeks later...

" They had to all go through the scheme, at a rate of one book a week (which was usually a fortnight) but I complained to the head. " 

I was on at least one book a day when I was 7 or 8. Told local library I wanted to read Jack London, C.S Forester, Robert Heinlein and Hemingway and why were they not in the Children's section. Librarien rang up my mum and agreed to give me an adult ticket.

Isabel was borrowing James Hadley Chase and Simenon from her Dads books when she was the same age.

I do not think either of us have be scarred for life by reading Butterfield 8 or Giovani's Room before we could understand what they were about. 

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Anton - your posting reminds me of the amount I was reading when 7 or 8. I don't remember learning to read, except for learning letter sounds and being stuck on "are" at age 6. I spent most of my working life in teaching of reading to children with difficulties one way or another and would make two points : one, sorry if it sounds flippant, but many children learn to read without much formal tuition, as part of maturation, they just absorb it. Two, that the biggest positive influence is the attitude towards books and reading within the family. Many if not most of our problem readers had parents who were illiterate. If children believe that books are fascinating and fun they will usually quickly learn to read. Pat.
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Yes, I agree - except when they are on a reading scheme at school which has been built up by recognising a full word at a time, with no emphasis on being able to decode any word, and only 'know' the words they've been taught so far.  The vocabulary set will be different in each such sight word reading scheme.  Then you get the response 'I haven't had that word yet'. 

When they then try to read a book outside this reading scheme with its carefully built vocabulary they lose confidence when they realise they can't read most of the words - even though the words look shorter and simpler than those they are reading in their reading scheme.  Hence my 5 year old being able to read 'anniversary', 'grandmother', 'grandparents', 'camcorder' - but not 'hen', because 'I haven't had that word yet'.  He also stumbled between 'couldn't' and 'climbing' - if it wasn't one then it was the other.  A similar length word beginning with 'c' - the only two he had 'learned' so far. 

Some children do seem to learn to read without much help - but if you ask them to describe what they do when they read a new word you will find they are decoding the word using phonetics.  Some children pick this up more easily than others and some parents are teaching their children to read that way without even realising it.  Its those children who haven't had any input of this sort and have relied solely on what they are being taught at school that can have problems, especially the 50% of the population who store images of whole words from right to left in the non dominant side of their brains, instead of left to right, as it is these poor souls who start to look dyslexic when they try to convert from sight reading to phonetic decoding after a few years at school.

My stepdaughter is one of those 50% and unfortunately I wasn't around when she was first learning to read.  By the time she came to live with me she seemed to be a proficient, fluent reader.  When she got to year 3 and there was a glitch in the way ORT built up the reading skills and vocabulary at around level 8, her reading skills rapidly deteriorated (really scary to see) and she appeared dyslexic all of a sudden - but had no other signs of being dyslexic.  I had a direct comparison between her and my son, supposedly at a lower level in the reading scheme, who could pick up the same problem books and read them well - because he'd learned to read phonetically. 

This is the point at which I did all the research into Orton and Spalding and reading (and behavioral, not relevant in our case thankfully) problems caused by sight reading.  I then rescued my stepdaughter from this situation and took her back to square one - and its not easy, once they get into the habit of sightreading - and did the same with my youngest before he developed any problems, apart from that he already had of being unable to read anything other than books from his school reading scheme!

My elder son, who was restricted to reading one book a week or fortnight at school, would pick up all sorts of books at home just as you describe (age 7) but he still had a problem over being stuck at a certain level at school.  Kids who were on a higher level would laugh at him because he wasn't at the same level as them (only one or two kids on only one level higher) and he would be upset because he knew he could read better than any of them!  He is now happy to be out of that environment and classed as a 'free reader' at home.  I have a huge library of all sorts of books, so we just have to make sure he doesn't pick up any of the books that might be a little too adult.

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I have been chatting with our guests who have children from varying ages 14 to 10.  They informed me that their children followed the phonics method.  They believe their childrens' level of literacy is diabolical.  The children cannot spell, punctuate or write sentences correctly.  They asked the 14 year old to spell 'establishment' who replied it was too difficult!  The 10 year spelled 'shato' in her holiday diary - for chateau. I know this is probably an unusual sounding word, but I got the gist of what she was trying to achieve.

We have 10 children here at the moment within the 14 - 10 year age range and it shocked me how bad things were.  In the UK the literacy levels must need questioning and  obviously the methods used too.  Obviously, this is just a sample of the UK population that I am going by, but it was very shocking to see.  The family are from the South East, whether this is a regional problem I do not know.

Nonetheless, it shocked me.  I remember reading Swallows and Amazons and aged nine.


Deby

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