More money for phonics… but what about deaf children?

On Monday, the Department for Children, Schools and Families announced £9m funding for teaching phonics in the classroom.

Phonics is something I’ve blogged on before. I have no beef with the whole concept of phonics but I still fail to see how a teaching method based on listening of sounds will work for severely and profoundly deaf children. It feels like such an obvious point but it is never reflected in government announcements like this. And there is still no guidance on alternatives to phonics for such children or how to modify the teaching of it for deaf children with a mild or moderate loss. What is a mainstream teacher with a deaf child in the classroom meant to do exactly?

For these reasons, we rushed out a press statement on this on Monday afternoon. NDCS is also, at its own cost, drafting guidance for teachers to fill this gap. I feel it should be the Government’s responsibility to do this but in the absence of any action, we have stepped up.

I have a feeling I’ll be banging on about phonics for a bit longer…

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3 thoughts on “More money for phonics… but what about deaf children?

  1. Yep. I agree. Fonix dusent wurk fore Heering peepel eether. But for Deaf people, it definitely doesn’t make sense. I hate it when I pull out another Journal and see yet another researcher trying to find a link with phonics for Deaf readers. AAARGH! Let’s focus on visual and whole-language and bilingual strategies! I wrote an article on that topic in the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education about 8 or 9 years ago.

  2. Are you familiar with See the Sound Visual Phonics? It uses hand cues (but is not Cued Speech)to give a visual to how the tongue, throat,lips produce the sound (plosive, quick).

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