Reading instruction, perhaps more than any other teaching practice, has always been fiercely contested, with the ‘war’ between phonics and whole language instruction reaching right back to the 1800s.
In recent times, however, a lot of evidence-based research has underscored the need for explicit instruction for young readers in a number of areas, and repudiated the belief that children will simply ‘catch’ reading skills out of thin air.
There is now consensus among educators that reading instruction requires explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.
Dr Jennifer Buckingham is in the vanguard of reading instruction and research in Australia. She spoke with Education Review about the science behind reading instructions and also dispelled some common myths.
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