T he Phonics program has helped millions of children and young adults become successful readers. It not just a program for the young either, its for everyone of any age.
Thanks for showing me how easy it was to learn how to read. Thankyou for showing me that I am okay, that there is nothing wrong with me. thanks for taking away the feeling I have lived with for most of my life that I was no good.
~ Jim Janssen, 38-year-old, author of future publication, Honor Roll Illiterate.
Systematic, intensive, direct-instruction phonics is the most effective method for teaching reading.
In fact, in the largest, most comprehensive evidenced-based review ever conducted, the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported thatphonics instruction "strongly supports the concept that explicitly and systematically teaching children to manipulate phonemes significantly improves their reading and spelling abilities. The evidence for this is so clear cut that this method should be an important component of classroom reading instruction but since it is not typically we are working to make it available free of charge when needed and supply instruction to facilitators who can maximize results ".
Readers need to understand that words are not whole units (as is taught in the current and failed look-say and sight-word methods) but, rather, words are made up of individual sounds (phonemes) strung along together, from beginning to end.
Don't be fooled by "balanced literacy" approaches that teach some explicit phonics but also teaches failed, experimental reading approaches that require the students to guess at words, skip words, or read the first few sounds of a word and make up the rest to try to make sense in the sentence.
The National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Developmentreport concluded that the most effective method for teaching phonemic awareness, reading, and spelling skills included explicitly and systematically teaching the phonics concepts. Moreover, students must learn to "sound out" or synthetically blend the letter/symbols of the English language, left to right.
One thing is certain, phonics and phonemic awareness are the most effective ways by which students master reading skills.
Reading, spelling and comprehension are not learned by simply viewing printed words or guessing at clues. Instead, the ability to use phonics, to sound out words using proven and effective "word attack" strategies -- is primarily responsible for mastering the ability to read.
More research on the effectiveness of phonics-based reading instruction is available from the National Reading Panel that "made it clear that the best approach to reading instruction is one that incorporatesexplicit instruction in phonemic awareness, systematic phonics instruction, methods to improve fluency, and ways to enhance comprehension".
Phonics Steps to Reading Success is most effective because it teaches students systematically to read synthetically, accurately blending sounds left to right. With accurate reading, comprehension increases.
Here are some more valuable links on phonics research, teaching reading, ADD, and more