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[Susan notes: Steve always puts facts based on solid research in his letters.]

Submitted to Baltimore Sun but not published

To the editor

The Sun's enthusiastic report on Saxon phonics ("Phonics system is catching on among schools," December 26) neglects the scientific
research. In a recent book and in several journal papers, California State University Professor Elaine Garan concluded that systematic,
intensive phonics instruction has a clear effect on reading only when tests consist of regularly spelled words in isolation. Intensive
phonics has very little impact on tests of reading comprehension given after grade 1.

Some knowledge of phonics can help children get meaning from texts, true reading competence comes from only one source: reading itself.

Stephen Krashen

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