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Should Phonics be ‘the only game in town’?


Online event – pre-registration essential

Recently Phonics has been accepted as the prime approach for the teaching and learning of reading and as a key way to measure success in reading pedagogy. This webinar aims to problematise that view by presenting a variety of perspectives on the efficacy, political and economic implications of using Phonics. Zsargo’s research in primary schools explores children’s views on Phonics and finds they sometimes struggle to see Phonics and reading as related. Woore et al’s research in post-primary French classrooms finds that an integrated approach to French reading instruction, using reading strategies and Phonics, is likely to be more beneficial than any approach used in isolation. Woods and Baroutsis’ present an analysis of comments from the media to challenge a recent move in Australia to introduce a Phonics check for all six-year olds whilst Soler examines the commodification of Phonics within early literacy education and how marketisation has impacted on the conceptions of learners and the professional role and status of teachers working in this area.

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Liz Zsargo

Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at University of Huddersfield

I joined Huddersfield University in 2014 as a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, with nearly twenty five years of experience working in education. A former primary headteacher, I have worked in a range of primary schools and taught all year...

Suzanne Graham, Professor

Professor of Language and Education at University of Reading

Suzanne Graham is Professor of Language and Education at the University of Reading, Institute of Education. She has led a number of large research projects in the field of second language education, exploring the factors that underpin effective...

Annette Woods, Professor

Queensland University of Technology

Annette Woods is a Professor in the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education, Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia. She researches and teaches in the areas of literacies, digital literacices,...

Aspa Baroutsis, Dr

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Griffith University, Australia

Dr Aspa Baroutsis is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Griffith Institute for Educational Research. Her research is located across social and cultural studies, social geography, school architecture, and education sociology. Her research...

Janet Soler, Dr

Senior Lecturer at The Open University

Dr Soler is a senior lecturer, chair of modules in the inclusive practice pathway, Area G Coordinator for the Language and Literacy area in the Educational Doctorate Programme, and convenor for the British Educational Research...


Barbara Skinner

Ulster University

Dr Barbara Skinner is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Ulster University. She is a teacher educator and researcher in the field of TESOL and has published research on the educational attainment gap for learners with EAL, the classroom...