What are decodable texts?
Decodable texts are specifically designed for early readers. They provide reading material which enables students to apply their alphabet sound skills, their early phonic knowledge, phonemic blending and decoding skills. The decodable reading material gradually increases in length and complexity and also gradually introduces sight words.
When are decodable reading books useful?
Typically decodable readers are a short-term support for most readers.
‘Decodable text may be best thought of as a form of scaffolding that can be gradually phased out as students develop the ability to read more complex words, and teachers may purposefully incorporate non-decodable texts … when they are appropriate to promote generalization of skills to more authentic reading experiences.’ (Denton, C. & Al Otaiba, S. 2011)
The ultimate goal of decodable readers is independent word attack skills and fluent reading. Decodable texts are never recommended as a long-term resource for students.
Why decodable reading material?
Emerging and early readers typically experience more success when presented with decodable reading material. In addition, gains are maximised further when this reading material is connected to structured synthetic phonics instruction. In this way, the reading material facilitates a medium to rehearse and apply the areas being instructed within the classroom; phonemic blending ability, alphabet sounds, phonic sounds, decoding, sight words, and fluent reading.
PLD advocates that not only will reading gains be maximised that the process of learning to read is made more enjoyable for students, teachers and parents.
NSW is now funding $50 per child for decodable readers. All NSW DET schools will soon be able to access special funding to update and modernise the reading material for students in their first year of reading instruction. I encourage you to read the full statement released by the NSW Department of Education.
*Note: Kindergarten in NSW is the equivalent of Pre-Primary in WA, Reception in SA, Preparatory in QLD, VIC, and TAS.
PLD’s decodable early reading material
PLD offers 4 Reading Book Sets listed on our website with sample pages from every single book included so you can flick through to see what they look like and consider whether they will meet your needs. Simply click the product cover image or the ‘eye’ icon underneath it to check them out yourself.
Home Reading Sets – comprised of almost 30 titles
Group Reading Sets – 10 titles, with 6 copies of each title
For more information on these cost-effective book sets, please view the flyer. If you would like to view the reading books within the office, please email us to make an appointment. Alternatively, click on the links above to view sample pages of each set online.
Useful Parent Education Video – Repeated Reading for Early Readers
The video Repeated Reading for Early Readers, explains why repeated reading is a very useful technique for early readers. Early readers often lack accuracy, fluency and automaticity, but the evidence-based technique of re-reading reading books addresses each of these common occurrences. It will also help parents understand why children are asked to re-read books, rather than reading a new book each night. Click here to view.
There are many more useful clips and playlists available on the PLD YouTube channel which are great for both parent and staff education.
Other Useful Links: