ERIC Number: ED328899
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-1
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Phonics in the Teaching of Reading: A Position Paper Prepared for the Secretary of Education.
Chall, Jeanne S.
Phonics has been taught from the time of the ancient Greeks to make the written language more accessible. The first task of learning to read is learning to recognize in print the language used in speech. As a result of many studies conducted during the 1960s which demonstrated the effectiveness of phonics, its use as an instructional method increased during the 1970s. A synthesis of the research evidence of 1910 to 1965, an update to 1983, a review of recent research and theory, and evidence from the National Assessment of Educational Progress all point to the first importance of teaching children how to decode words. The research demonstrates the importance of awareness of how words are segmented into syllables and phonemes, and how they map to letters, word parts, and words. Schools of education and educational publishers should embrace "what works" and avoid programs based on shaky assumptions with little evidence of success. Furthermore, the federal government should support the development of tests that can disentangle different aspects of reading from one another, as part of a quest for the best instructional methods. Such tests can also help educators understand individual differences in reading at all levels. (Sixty-two references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC. Programs for the Improvement of Practice.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: National Assessment of Educational Progress; Reading Theories
Note: Commissioned by the OERI Literacy Project.