Reading First–Does Intensive Decoding Instruction Contribute to Reading Comprehension?

I’ve written about the trouble with packaged reading programs before.

Today, I’m linking to a piece by Stephen Krashen, professor emeritus at the University of Southern California. In this piece, Krashen writes that children do not improve their reading comprehension skills through those packaged reading programs.

Does Intensive Decoding Instruction Contribute to Reading Comprehension?
by Stephen Krashen

In the recent Reading First Impact Final Report, children participating in Reading First classrooms did better than comparisons on a test of decoding given in grade one. Reading First children did not, however, do better on tests of reading comprehension in grades one, two, and three, despite considerable extra instructional time (Gamse, Jacob, Horst, Boulay, and Unlu, 2008).

Not mentioned in the Final Report is that we have seen this pattern before: Children following an intensive, decoding-based curriculum do better on tests of decoding (pronouncing words out-loud) when compared to regular students but do not better on measures of reading comprehension.

Read the rest here.

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