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[Susan notes: Here's very concise presentation of evidence.]

Published in The Australian

To the editor

Re: : Bad teaching kills reading skills Jennnifer Buckingham claims that failing to include "explicit, systematic and structured" phonics is bad teaching. This means phonics instruction that teaches all students all the rules of phonics in a strict order.

Studies show that students who have experienced intensive, systematic structured phonics do better only on tests in which they have to pronounce words presented in isolation. This heavy phonics instruction has a tiny influence on tests in which children have to understand what they read.

Studies show that performance on tests of reading comprehension is heavily influenced by the amount of self-selected voluntary reading that children do, not whether they have had structured phonics.

Stephen Krashen, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

Brian Cambourne, University of Wollongong, NSW

Stephen Krashen and Brian Combourne

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