** UPDATED see below
Learning to read as an important (if not, the important) educational outcome of primary education.
It is a complex process: oral language, skill development and comprehension strategies.
Teachers need to understand the precise way that these processes combine in order to identify students’ needs and teach most effectively.
For large-scale reviews of research into effective teaching of reading, trying to give definitive and evidence-based guidelines, see: Adams, 1990; Anderson, 1985; Chall, 1967; DEST, 2005; NICHD, 2000; Rose, 2006. Their findings contained 6 major components. To read Deslea Konza’s paper for yourself, click here.
THE BIG SIX
1. Oral language
2. Phonological awareness
Reading is a highly complex cognitive process.
Debates spanning many decades about the best practices to teach reading.
Many children will learn to read no matter what the method used (perhaps, in spite of it?)
“The unequivocal conclusion of the major reviews into effective reading instruction [is] that most children benefit from systematic and explicit teaching of each element of the Big Six”.
Most disadvantaged children will be those who do not participate in such effective programs and are from less language-enriched backgrounds.
The best outcome for students would be where there is a consistent, whole site approach of teaching reading (across regions), where human and material resources, and political energy are focused.
** UPDATE: If you would like to hear 7 podcasts by Deslea Konza including the “Big Five’ skills for learning to read, an introduction to teaching reading and the vital role of oral language, please see videos below.
An introduction to teaching reading by Leonie Trimper (President of the Australian Primary Principals Association:
Oral language by Deslea Konza:
Phonological awareness by Deslea Konza:
Phonics by Deslea Konza:
Vocabulary by Deslea Konza:
Fluency by Deslea Konza:
Comprehension by Deslea Konza:
Leading learning in literacy interventions by Professor Neil Dempster, Griffith University: