The argument against phonics now is ideological rather than scientific.
Although some institutions and organizations refuse to see the results and complain about spurious and often invented issues, the phonics revolution is changing the face of English literacy progress for our children.
The re-emergence of phonics as the primary method for teaching English started in the US with a federal investigation into falling literacy standards. This resulted in phonics becoming a mandatory part of the Common Core State Standards.
The results prompted the UK to do its investigation, known as the Rose Report (2006), and this prompted the UK government to mandate a specific curriculum for Early Years and Key Stages 1/2. Followed by Australia and then, most recently, New Zealand.
So while the aforementioned ideologues argue over why we shouldn't use phonics, the research and practice I have done over eight years of teaching have led me to a programme with predictable outcomes.
A high level of reading skills for the age group, a large vocabulary, a knowledge of grammar that helps with reading and understanding and most importantly, by reading the well-loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis), a genuine love of reading and writing.
Below is the literature I found most useful in informing my practice and seeing results in my learners.
- Category: Further Reading
In the News
Kilpatrick, Joshi, Wagner (2019) Reading development and difficulties: Bridging the gap between research and practice. ($)
Bruce Robertson (2020) The Teaching Delusion, Why Teaching in our schools isn't good enough and how we can make it Better ($)
Marzano, R.J, Pickering, Debra J, Pollock, Jane E (2001) Classroom instruction that works. Research-Based Strategies for Increasing student achievement. ($)
Ashman, Greg (2020) The power of explicit teaching and direct instruction ($)
On the right-hand side, you will find various external links to other Reading and Reading Science resources.