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Page last updated at 06:46 GMT, Monday, 18 June 2012 07:46 UK

Is phonics the best way to teach reading?

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Five and six-year-olds across England are to be taught to read using the system known as phonics.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, says teaching children to read is a "highly complex issue" and phonics is only one element.

"The government is imposing a very narrow and didactic approach to the teaching of reading,", she told the Today programme, and believes it will not improve reading standards but will make them worse.

Greg Wallace, executive principal of the Best Start Federation of primary schools in Hackney, disagrees and told John Humphrys that the "only 100% successful way to learn to read is phonics".

"It's the best approach," he believes.


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