Top of the Must-Read list for Aussie parents of early literacy learners this year is the Australian version of a great little Canadian 13-page booklet about reading.
It's called "Reading: Breaking Through the Barriers" and you can download a copy now for free, from Macquarie University's Multilit website.
Written in plain English for parents, it provides a simple explanation of how children learn to read, and what the research tells us about how early literacy is best taught, to make sure no child is left behind.
It covers phonological awareness, decoding, the alphabetic principle, fluency and comprehension, whole language and phonics teaching methodologies, the gap between theory and practice, children at risk, children with English as a Second Language, and what parents can do.
It says, "While many children have learned to read using whole language, research has shown conclusively that this approach is devastating for children at risk for reading difficulties". Thankyou. As a Speech Pathologist, these are the kids I see day in, day out, and I really, really want their misery prevented.
The booklet also poses some thought-provoking questions for parents about whether local schools are responding to early literacy research, and teaching in an evidence-based way.
It includes a page of references for anyone who wants more detail about early literacy, and now I'm going to end this blog post so you can get on and read it, then send the link around to everyone you know who cares about early literacy, and making sure all kids learn how to read.