Two stories on the blogosphere worth browsing are:
John Bald’s response to attacks on phonics in the TES (17 06 2011). One such condemnation can be found in a letter from Professor Colin Richards, Spark Bridge, Cumbria, entitled ‘One man's jihad is just another man's phonics’. Who is the humorist Colin Richards and I wonder if he has ever set foot in a classroom and taught young children to read? Now that really would be something to laugh about, I’d wager.
The other is a posting by Catherine Johnson from kitchen table math entitled ‘do students learn to read from beginning to end?’
Interestingly, on the latter question, when I showed some Primary Mathematics: Challenging Word Problems (SingaporeMath) books to a head teacher friend of mine the other day, quite apart from how well structured they are from a mathematical perspective, he commented on the language of the word problems set in the books. Each question requires learners to read every word very carefully; otherwise, they risk missing out an important step in solving the problem.