Ten Principles in Literacy Programs That Work
"An impressive and growing body of authoritative opinion and research evidence suggests that reading failure is preventable for all but a very small percentage of children."
-John Jay Pikulski
National attention is focused on early literacy, as several panels investigate and debate new directions in teaching children to read and write. The National Research Council Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children has analyzed research on effective programs for students who are having difficulty learning to read and write. This research meets the criteria established by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) for reliable, replicable research. Based on a survey of research that met the NICHD criteria, including the research presented in The Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children (Snow, Burns, and Griffin, 1998), 10 principles provide guidance for designing early intervention programs.
Research has demonstrated that young readers having difficulty are mostly of average intelligence, and they have problems resulting from multiple and differing causes. With appropriate intervention, almost all can learn to read, provided instruction is intensive and begins early. It is therefore important that reading interventions be multi-dimensional to meet the diverse needs of learners.
The following discussion illustrates how Reading Recovery epitomizes the 10 principles in literacy programs that work. These principles operate throughout a Reading Recovery lesson and apply differently for each child who is learning to read and write (see box, below). The power of Reading Recovery lies in the integration of the 10 research-based components and the careful, sensitive application of these components during a Reading Recovery lesson.
The Reading Recovery Lesson
- Reading familiar stories
- Reading a story that was read for the first time the day before
- Working with letters and/or words using magnetic letters
- Writing a story
- Assembling a cut-up story
- Introducing and reading a new book
Reprinted with the permission of the Reading Recovery Council of North America. © 2001-2008. All rights reserved. Reading Recovery Council of North America.
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