ERIC Number: ED320128
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-May-16
Beginning Reading Instruction in the United States.
Adams, Marilyn Jager; Osborn, Jean
A study examined the role of phonics instruction in beginning reading and culminated in a report which has been published as a book entitled "Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print." The study centered around the debate over whether phonics instruction promotes or impedes development of the attitudes and abilities required for reading comprehension. The study was based on a review of the literature on the merits and demerits of phonics instruction; theory and empirical research related to the nature of reading and its acquisition and mastery; the history of the debate; the relative effectiveness of different instructional approaches; the theory and research on the knowledge and processes involved in skillful reading; and the various literatures relevant to reading acquisition. The studies indicated with impressive frequency that instructional approaches that include systematic phonics lead to higher achievement in both word recognition and spelling, at least in the early grades, and especially for slower or economically disadvantaged students. The study also found that precise identification of the factors underlying the phonics advantage is not possible. Specialized literatures concerning the research and theory on skillful readers, on poor readers, and on children who have not yet entered school are summarized in the report. The overall findings of the study suggest that a child's success in learning to read in the first grade appears to be the best predictor of his or her ultimate success in schooling, yet children's first grade reading achievement is seen to depend most of all on how much they know about reading before they get there. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.