Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading
Learning to Read Words: Linguistic Units and Instructional Strategies
The question of which, and how many, word-recognition strategies should be taught to first-grade children has rarely been explored within the context of real classrooms. In this study, we analyzed word recognition instruction in four first-grade classrooms to begin to identify the instructional practices that best foster learning to read words for particular profiles of children. In each classroom, students were organized into reading groups of varying abilities. Instructional practice varied widely across these classrooms; phonics and phonological awareness activities, for example, were more common in Classrooms 2 and 4 than in the other two. And while children in Classrooms 2, 3, and 4 were on average reading at or above their grade level by the end of the year, the only low group children who were reading at grade level were those in Classrooms 2 and 4. Results suggest: (a) differential instruction may be helpful in first grade. While low-group members in a trade book classroom tend to be relatively poor readers at the end of first grade, their classmates in higher groups make exceptional progress; (b) children who enter first grade with low literacy benefit from early and heavy exposure to phonics; once they can read independently, however, these children then profit from the increased vocabulary work, text discussions, and variety of text types that is characteristic of their higher range peers' reading curriculum; and, (c) a structured phonics curriculum that includes both onsets and rimes and sounding and blending phonemes within rimes appears to be very effective.
[This chapter is reprinted from Reading Research Quarterly, 35(4), 458–492. http://dx.doi.org/10.1598/RRQ.35.4.2]
Juel, C., & Minden-Cupp, C. (2004).
Learning to Read Words: Linguistic Units and Instructional Strategies.
In R.B. Ruddell, & N.J. Unrau (Eds.), Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading (pp. 313-364). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.