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Phonics Works

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:04 pm
Phonics works, but other approaches need more research.
A new meta-analysis published online in PLoS ONE has concluded that phonics is the only approach whose effectiveness on reading and spelling performance in children and adolescents with reading difficulties has been proven.

The research aimed to determine the effectiveness of a number of different treatment approaches for improving the literacy skills of children and adolescents with reading problems. A total of 22 studies met the search criteria, and these assessed a number of approaches: phonemic awareness instruction, phonics instruction, reading fluency training, reading comprehension training, auditory training, medical treatment, and coloured overlays.
The analysis concluded that teaching phonics is the only approach proven to have a statistically significant effect on reading and spelling performance. However, this approach was also the most intensively investigated, and therefore the only one where enough trials had been conducted to provide a reliable answer.

The Education Elf blog provides further analysis of this research.

Source: Effectiveness of Treatment Approaches for Children and Adolescents with Reading Disabilities: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (2014), PLoS ONE other approaches need more research

Re: Phonics Works

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:55 pm
by geraldinecarter
That's interesting, Jim. Do you have the link?

Re: Phonics Works

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:37 pm
by maizie

Re: Phonics Works

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 8:33 am
by kenm
Galuschka et al. wrote:Third, consistent with previous meta-analyses [8], [14], it was found that interventions that were conducted by the study author tend to show higher effect sizes than interventions that were implemented by other conductors. This suggests that solid and professional knowledge about reading disability in children and adolescents might enhance treatment efficacy.
Since this is also consistent with observation bias, it had me worried until I read:
An equally important aspect is the assessment of the dependent variables by a blinded person. It has been demonstrated [55], [56] that effects of interventions are exaggerated if the relevant outcome measures are not assessed in a blinded test situation. Therefore, effects can only be attributed to the conducted intervention if they are observed in a blinded randomized controlled trial with an adequate concealment technique.
However, the last was followed by:
Unfortunately, most of the studies included in the present meta-analysis did not specify whether the dependent variable was assessed by a blinded person.
so we are back at square one.

Re: Phonics Works

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 8:33 am
by john walker
Thanks, Jim.