Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Krashen on teaching phonics

Sent to the Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2008

The LA Times feels that Reading First was a "good
idea" because it used "phonics-based curricula that
have been found effective in research studies"
("Bush's reading program doesn't pass," May 9).
The research actually shows that heavy phonics
instruction ("intensive, systematic phonics") only
helps children do better on tests in which they
pronounce lists of words presented to them in
isolation. Heavy phonics instruction does not
significantly improve performance on tests in which
children need to understand what they read.
In the recent Department of Education study, children
were tested on reading comprehension. The failure of
the Reading First children to do better than
comparison children, despite getting extra phonics
instruction, is no surprise.
Stephen Krashen

Krashen on solving the literacy crisis