The team at PLD has always made it a focus to highlight the importance of phonics and Structured Synthetic Phonics (SSP) as part of a wider skill set for the successful teaching of students from the age of 3 up to Year 6. The entirety of PLD resources employs a practical and highly functional style beneficial to both the student and teachers.
Across both the US and UK, inquiries have called for systematic, explicit and direct synthetic phonics or SSP instruction, and Australia’s National Inquiry into Teaching Reading (2005) produced similar recommendations as the UK and US inquiries. The Australian inquiry concluded, “The evidence is clear… that direct systematic instruction or SSP in phonics during the early years of schooling is an essential foundation for teaching children to read”.
The research found that students learn best when teachers adopt an integrated approach – that is teaching phonics, fluency, vocabulary knowledge and comprehension. Diana and the team at PLD have continued to create a clear skills set approach with a strong focus on the use of all of these and in particular, the use of phonics and SSP, in teaching reading.
Important highlights regarding this inquiry found evidence that showed a ‘whole-language’ approach to teaching reading on its own is not a positive approach for children, particularly for those who are already experiencing reading difficulties.
“Where there is unsystematic or no phonics instruction, children’s literacy progress is significantly impeded, inhibiting their initial and subsequent growth in reading accuracy, fluency, writing, spelling and comprehension.” (Page 12 from the executive summary).
PLD has recently added online learning to its resources for teachers, enabling access to the knowledge of Diana and the team, no matter where teachers are located. The first course, titled ‘Synthetic phonics within the junior primary’ is perfectly aligned with the findings from the recent inquiry, helping teachers understand the importance of assessing the classroom for skills, and then introducing a clear synthetic phonics approach that aims to deliver significant spelling and phonics skill development.
You can read the entire Australian research, National Inquiry into the Teaching of Reading (2005) HERE