early indicators of reading difficulties. Effective indicators are emerging from longitudinal databases (e.g., Fletcher et al., 2002; O’Connor and Jenkins, 1999; Scarborough, 1998; Torgesen, 2002; Vellutino et al., 2000; Wood et al., 2001). These indicators can provide valuable information to teachers regarding the instructional needs of individual students. Predictiveness of particular skills depends on how and when they are assessed, but, in general, phonological awareness and its theoretically related construct of letter-sound knowledge in kindergarten and the beginning of first grade are predictive of first grade outcomes, as is word recognition at the beginning of first grade. In second grade word reading continues to be a strong predictor of second grade outcomes, with reading fluency and reading comprehension becoming increasingly important predictors of reading outcomes. For children at risk of reading difficulties due to poverty and language background, oral language in general and vocabulary in particular are critical to reading success (Foorman et al., in press; National Research Council, 1998; Dickinson and Tabors, 2001).

There are a number of models for screening children in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade for reading prob-

BOX 2.3
Phonics Instructional Approaches

Analogy phonics: teaching students unfamiliar words by analogy to known words (e.g., recognizing that the rime segment of an unfamiliar word is identical to that of a familiar word, and then blending the known rime with the new word onset, such as reading brick by recognizing that ick is contained in the known word kick, or reading stump by analogy to jump).

Analytic phonics: teaching students to analyze letter-sound relations in previously learned words to avoid pronouncing sounds in isolation.

Embedded phonics: teaching students phonics skills by embedding phonics instruction in text reading, a more implicit approach that relies to some extent on incidental learning.

Phonics through spelling: teaching students to segment words into phonemes and to select letters for those phonemes (i.e., teaching students to spell words phonemically).

Synthetic phonics: teaching students to explicitly convert letters into sounds (phonemes) and then blend the sounds to form recognizable words.

SOURCE: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2000).

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