at-risk students who enter school with very little letter knowledge or phonemic
Results indicated phonics helped low and middle SES readers, younger students at
risk for reading disability (RD) and older students with RD, but it did not help low
achieving readers that included students with cognitive limitations. Delivering instruction
to small groups and classes was not less effective than tutoring. Researchers determined
that systematic phonics instruction proved effective and should be implemented as part of
literacy programs to teach beginning reading as well as to prevent and re-mediate reading
Some of the studies in the database examined the effectiveness of enriching whole
language instruction with systematic phonics. Results were positive and suggest the
importance of integrating systematic phonics instruction into whole language approaches
rather than eliminating whole language from beginning reading instruction.
These facts should persuade educators and the public that systematic phonics instruction
is a valuable part of a successful classroom reading program. The findings were to
illuminate the conditions that may make phonics instruction especially effective.
In a meta-analysis of instructional studies employed with students having LD,
Swanson (2000) observed significantly larger effect sizes on reading outcomes when
direct skills instruction was combined with comprehension strategy instruction than when
each word was administered separately to students. By emphasizing all of the processes
that contribute to growth in reading in reading, teachers will have the best change of
making every child a reader.