New Study Quantifies Role of Phonics In Reading Abilities
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
New York, NY –
New York University researchers find phonics may be the most important part of becoming a good reader, but it's not the only ingredient. WNYC's Beth Fertig has more.
REPORTER: For years, educators have engaged in Reading Wars over how much weight should be given to phonics - or learning the sounds of each letter.
REPORTER: Some experts believe children should focus heavily on phonics while others favor a broader approach now used by the New York City Schools. To see how much of a role phonics plays in reading, researchers at New York University studied how 11 adults responded to mixed up letters in a piece of text.
REPORTER: As expected, phonics played the greatest role. But they also determined that about a third of reading speed comes from familiar looking words and sentence clues.
REPORTER: The study was too small to draw any conclusions about how to create a good curriculum. But the researchers say it's the first to quantify the role of phonics, and they now plan a similar study for people with learning disabilities. For WNYC I'm Beth Fertig.