From Learning to Read to Reading to Learn

Why decoding strategies are not enough

Research analyzing the long-term impact of different reading interventions has shown that the benefits from instruction focused on phonetic decoding strategies fade over time. While these interventions typically show moderate short-term benefits when given to primary level children, follow up data shows that over the years the effects diminish.

On the other hand, children who are taught strategies geared to understanding the meaning of what they read actually show significant growth over time, above and beyond the short-term effects from the comprehension-based teaching. The reason might be tied to important foundational thinking skills that become increasingly important as children are expected to read and understand more difficult reading material over time.

From Children of the Code

This video provides insight into the challenges young readers face as they move from one grade to the next, as the words and texts they are given become more complex. Because the increased demands of reading typically occur in third grade and beyond, educational research and policies tied to teaching basic skills in the early grades (K-3) often fail to recognize or address these long-term needs.