The following are extracts from the Fountas Blog post. You may read the article here.
The goal for the reader is accuracy using all sources of information simultaneously. And that includes processing each letter in words from left to right. If a reader says “pony” for “horse” because of information from the pictures, that tells the teacher that the reader is using meaning information from the pictures, as well as the structure of the language, but is neglecting to use the visual information of the print. His response is partially correct, but the teacher needs to guide him to stop and work for accuracy.
"Try that again, and be sure what you read looks right and makes sense", or "Check the letters to be sure you are right."
The goal is for the child to stop or monitor, look more closely at the word and think about what would make sense and fit with the sequence of letters.
The bottom line is that a young reader must use everything he knows to move through a written text, to read it accurately and understand it. Multiple sources of information are combined in a complex and orchestrated way. The development of the child's ability to use all sources of information will take time and skillful teaching. It is impossible to boil down this process to something as simplistic as “don't think, just sound it out.”
As usual those with a vested interest cherry pick words such as ‘his response is partially correct…’ and Tweet out of context and many others retweet without reading the whole passage.
More than 20 years ago researchers have said that beginning readers often use what is called the “consonant plane” (Berent & Perfetti,1995) to sequentially decode words in context.
Imagine a young reader who knows as sight words he, went, to, and and looking at a picture of a boy fast asleep in bed with this sentence underneath:
He went to bed and fell fast asleep.
By looking at all the letters in the unknown words bed, fell, fast, and asleep, a beginning reader who knows the consonant sounds, is using the context and picture clues, and knows that reading has to make sense and sound like language could use the consonant plane to decode the unknown words in that sentence.
I believe all the ‘noise’ on Twitter on this matter is by SoR proponents and they are doing exactly the same thing they had tried in vain with me.
I teach kids who come to me, most of whom are certified as dyslexic, using phonics, Dolch words that I ask them to memorise, context clues, patterns and analogy.
By teaching kids 5 Dolch words (a, an, and, at, on) to memorise and teaching family word ‘at’ using phonics and picture clues kids are able to read more than 10 sentences. At the end of the first lesson they are able to read all those sentences without picture clues.
Here is my first lesson.
For best effect parents are urged to read the preface and notes which are an integral part of the lessons.
The words above in bold; a beginning reader who knows the consonant sounds is what needs to be stressed and is my mantra throughout my blog. Teach kids the correct pronunciation of sounds represented by consonants and reduce illiteracy.
Do not add extraneous sounds to consonants. Listen to my YouTube videos. LINK