Meeting the Challenges of Early Literacy Phonics Instruction - A Position Statement from the ILA
After years of debate about how much and what kind of phonics instruction children need, the International Literacy Association (finally - after having the science to support this information for decades) released a position statement that (relatively) fairly clearly states the critical role that systematic and explict phonics instruction plays in how ALL children learn to read. "Government-funded documents have shown that phonics instruction is helpful for all students, harmful for none, and crucial for some (ILA, 2019, p. 2). While this may not be groundbreaking news, this position statement makes it clear that "[a]lthough phonics can be taught in different ways, research supports instruction that is explicit and systematic" (p. 3). It then goes on to expand upon the key characteristics of effective phonics instruction. Simple, but a good step in the right direction for this organization. I wrote a letter to the President of this organization in the 90s to express my dismay at the lack of attention that cognitive science was receiving at that time and received a thoughtful, genuine, personal letter back from him acknowledging my concerns. Twenty years later...
International Literacy Association. (2019). Meeting the challenges of early literacy phonics instruction [Literacy leadership brief]. Newark, DE: Author.