The ability to read words in isolation quickly and accurately is the hallmark of a skilled reader.
The We All Can Read Online Phonics Program is solidly grounded in a thoroughly documented, research-based curriculum that teaches the phonetic foundation of the English language in a systematic, step-by-step fashion. There exists an overwhelming body of scientific evidence that supports the need to teach the relationship of letters and sounds in a systematic way in order for any beginning reading program to be effective. Furthermore one of the most consistent and widely-documented findings of reading research is that the ability to read words quickly and accurately without reference to context is the single most important and accurate predictor of a student’s ability to become a successful reader.
The information presented here presents the case, the absolute necessity, for teaching phonics in beginning reading instruction.
The Size, Cause and Solution to the Reading Disabilities Epidemic
When a significant segment of our society experiences a disability it is an epidemic. When the leading cause of emotional problems and low self esteem among both children and adults in our society is caused by that same disability it is a public health issue. Poor reading skills among the adult population is a direct and accurate indicator of the increased likelihood that individuals will live in poverty, suffer drug addiction, be incarcerated, and have children who will repeat that same cycle. The tragedy regarding this issue is that so much of it is now preventable. Science has proven what reading methodologies work best. And yet in the face of this indisputable, empirical and thoroughly documented evidence of what works best in beginning reading instruction, a majority of the teaching colleges, universities and public school systems in the United States and in a majority of other English-speaking countries as well continue to ignore the science-based research.
“Teaching children how to read is “job one” for elementary teachers because reading proficiency underpins all later learning. Unfortunately, some 30 percent of all children do not become capable readers. Using the knowledge gained from decades of research, effective reading instruction could cut this unacceptable rate of failure by two-thirds or even more.” (National Council on Teacher Quality 2016 Report: A Closer Look at Early Reading Undergraduate Elementary Programs)
Excerpts below from David Kipen’s New York Times review of the book Language at the Speed of Sight (2017) by cognitive scientist Mark Seidenberg at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:
“In Language at the Speed of Sight, internationally renowned cognitive scientist Mark Seidenberg reveals the under-explored science of reading, which spans cognitive science, neurobiology, and linguistics. Johnny can’t read because schools of education didn’t give Johnny’s teachers the proper tools to show him how. As Seidenberg shows, the disconnect between science and education is a major factor in America’s chronic underachievement. Children aren’t taught basic print skills because educators cling to the disproved theory that good readers guess the words in texts, a strategy that encourages skimming instead of close reading. Interventions for children with reading disabilities are delayed because parents are mistakenly told their kids will catch up if they work harder.
Take away all of Mr. Seidenberg’s helpful tables, charts and other scientific furniture, and his conclusion boils down to this:
Human beings learn written language most efficiently in the same way that humanity first learned it, by following the pathway from phonetic speech toward reading. Which is to say phonics.”