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Effective Reading Instruction in the Early Years of School

Reading is a foundational, yet complex cognitive skill upon which other skills are built. Early success in reading is a powerful...
Reading is a foundational, yet complex cognitive skill upon which other skills are built. Early success in reading is a powerful predictor of later achievement in a range of other academic areas. Individuals without literacy skills are at risk of being unable to...
Reading is a foundational, yet complex cognitive skill upon which other skills are built. Early success in reading is a powerful predictor of later achievement in a range of other academic areas. Individuals without literacy skills are at risk of being unable to participate in the workforce or engage fully in civic and social life. Since 2000, there have been major reviews of the teaching of reading in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. These reviews, along with other research, have consistently identified five key components of effective reading programs: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The CESE literature review ‘Effective reading instruction in the early years of school’ summarises this research and concludes that, to be most successful, the five key components must be taught explicitly, sequentially and systematically. The evidence identifies five key components of effective reading programs: Phonemic awarenessThe ability to hear the sounds in spoken words and understand that words are made up of sequences of sounds. PhonicsPhonics instruction connects phonemes with written letters so that the reader can transfer knowledge of sounds to the printed word. Synthetic phonics’ is the approach with the most robust evidence base. FluencyThe ability to read quickly and naturally with accuracy and expression. Fluency contains the skill of automaticity which allows a reader to recognise words quickly. VocabularyWhen children ‘sound out’ a word, their brain connects the pronunciation of a sequence of sounds to a word in their vocabulary to find a logical match. If a match is not created because the word they are reading is not in their vocabulary, comprehension is interrupted. ComprehensionThe understanding and interpretation of what is read. Comprehension requires having a sufficient vocabulary.
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Principles of instruction: Research-based strategies that all teachers should know

The article presents a discussion of the ten research-based principles of instruction for classroom practice, adapted from Principles of...
The article presents a discussion of the ten research-based principles of instruction for classroom practice, adapted from Principles of Instruction by Barak Rosenshine.
The article presents a discussion of the ten research-based principles of instruction for classroom practice, adapted from Principles of Instruction by Barak Rosenshine.
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The Dramatic Impact of Explicit Instruction on Learning to Read in a New Writing System

There is profound and long-standing debate over the role of explicit instruction in reading acquisition. In this research, we investigated...
There is profound and long-standing debate over the role of explicit instruction in reading acquisition. In this research, we investigated the impact of teaching regularities in the writing system explicitly rather than relying on learners to discover these regularities through text...
There is profound and long-standing debate over the role of explicit instruction in reading acquisition. In this research, we investigated the impact of teaching regularities in the writing system explicitly rather than relying on learners to discover these regularities through text experience alone. Over 10 days, 48 adults learned to read novel words printed in two artificial writing systems. One group learned spelling-to-sound and spelling-to-meaning regularities solely through experience with the novel words, whereas the other group received a brief session of explicit instruction on these regularities before training commenced. Results showed that virtually all participants who received instruction performed at ceiling on tests that probed generalization of underlying regularities. In contrast, despite up to 18 hr of training on the novel words, less than 25% of discovery learners performed on par with those who received instruction. These findings illustrate the dramatic impact of teaching method on outcomes during reading acquisition.
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Closing the gap between research and practice: Foundations for the acquisition of literacy

Over the years two main approaches have emerged in the teaching and learning of reading and writing. One is...
Over the years two main approaches have emerged in the teaching and learning of reading and writing. One is the 'whole language' approach; the other concentrates more on instruction in phonics. This paper focuses on the theoretical assumptions underlying...
Over the years two main approaches have emerged in the teaching and learning of reading and writing. One is the 'whole language' approach; the other concentrates more on instruction in phonics. This paper focuses on the theoretical assumptions underlying these two approaches to the teaching of literacy, and the studies which have been undertaken, in the international arena, to find out how children progress, from their earliest educational years, in attaining both initial reading skills and lifelong literacy.
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Neuromyths in education: Prevalence and predictors of misconceptions among teachers

The OECD’s Brain and Learning project (2002) emphasized that many misconceptions about the brain exist among professionals in the...
The OECD’s Brain and Learning project (2002) emphasized that many misconceptions about the brain exist among professionals in the field of education. Though these so-called “neuromyths” are loosely based on scientific facts, they may have adverse effects on educational...
The OECD’s Brain and Learning project (2002) emphasized that many misconceptions about the brain exist among professionals in the field of education. Though these so-called “neuromyths” are loosely based on scientific facts, they may have adverse effects on educational practice. The present study investigated the prevalence and predictors of neuromyths among teachers in selected regions in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
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What Does Evidence-Based Practice in Education Mean?

Teaching has suffered both as a profession in search of community respect, and as a force for improving the...
Teaching has suffered both as a profession in search of community respect, and as a force for improving the social capital of Australia because of its failure to adopt the results of empirical research as the major determinant of...
Teaching has suffered both as a profession in search of community respect, and as a force for improving the social capital of Australia because of its failure to adopt the results of empirical research as the major determinant of its practice. There are a number of reasons why this has occurred, among them a science-aversive culture endemic among education policymakers and teacher education faculties. There are signs that change may be afoot. The National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy has pointed to, and urged us to follow, a direction similar to that taken recently in Great Britain and the USA towards evidence-based practice. Acknowledging the importance of teacher education, the National Institute for Quality Teaching and School Leadership began a process for establishing national accreditation of pre-service teacher education. Two problems do require attention. The generally low quality of much educational research in the past has made the process of evaluating the evidence difficult, particularly for those teachers who have not the training to discriminate sound from unsound research designs. Fortunately, there are a number of august bodies that have performed the sifting process to simplify judging the value of research on important educational issues.
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