Phonics is an extremely important part of the literacy curriculum, and it is an extremely important part of effectively learning how to read. Learners need a robust, meaningful, comprehensive literacy program that includes rich phonics instruction and much more. Learners need books, lots of books, taught in a variety of ways, such as through interactive read-aloud, shared reading, and independent reading. They also need ample writing opportunities. But there is no doubt that learners need phonics.
“A solid plan for high-level literacy competencies includes direct, systematic phonics instruction within a comprehensive literacy design that must also include reading high-quality books aloud to children, engaging them in shared reading, interactive-read aloud, small group guided reading instruction, small group book clubs, independent choice reading, and a wide range of writing contexts that support the expansive knowledge of words and how words work.”
- Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell
Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell have developed a two-part research series on phonics instruction. In these documents, Fountas and Pinnell dive into the research on effective phonics, and then directly align this research to the Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Lessons (PWS).
1. Twelve Compelling Principles from the Research on Effective Phonics Instruction
In this document Fountas and Pinnell explore the important findings—twelve compelling principles—from a large body of research. These principles rest on decades of research on literacy instruction and how literacy and language develop in children over time, as well as on more than thirty years of our own extensive experience in classrooms across the country. A high-quality phonics design is based on what we know about how children learn to read, and it continuously expands their knowledge about words and how they work. (An essential foundation for the implementation of such a design is the teacher’s understanding of the content to be taught—the complexity and structure of language.)
2. The Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Systems: Explicit, Systematic, and Grounded in the Twelve Principles from Research
The Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Systems are grounded in twelve principles from research. In this document Fountas and Pinnell identify how the Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Systems directly align to the twelve principles supported by research evidence.
~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team