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Phonics "revolution": War of words over how to teach kids to read

In a recent article the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported that the NZ government was set to roll out 2.4 million copies of phonics (using the sounds of letters e.g. 'th' rather than associating images with words) reading material creating a debate as to the best way to read.

The experience in Fiji seems to be that we are still using phonics and have never really had to have that 'debate' or indeed the 'revolution'. We seem to have avoided the debate and been better for it. Arguably phonic based teaching is nearly compulsory in Fiji given the way the vernacular languges are written for translation.

But we do seem to notice that the prevalence of mobile devices and SMS (texting) has taken over as the new phonics. Is this a good thing - should language evolve to this extent?

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