Reading instruction today

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Most current instructional programs provide considerably more decoding instruction than they did 20 yrs ago, but the debate over the degree of emphasis that should be placed on decoding is still alive. Some argue that instruction that stresses decoding leads to higher scores on word recognition tests in the early grades; others point out that such instruction does not lead to higher comprehension scores. But it must be kept in mind that other factors--social, philosophical, political--tend to influence decisions about reading instruction as much as do theory and experimentation. The new interest in reading comprehension and instruction in the middle years (Grades 4-6) may draw attention away from this perennial debate for a while. A brief review of reading instruction in the past decades is presented, and current achievements in the areas of reading theory and reading instruction are discussed. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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