How to back up what you say

The following is a quote from Stephen Krashen’s newsletter. I am printing it here to show people how it is possible to back up what you say with some evidence. This is not to say that citing a study settles everything; people disagree on the reliability, the applicability, the methodology of research. Nevertheless, it is some evidence other than “this is what I’ve seen (read: interpreted) in my 27 years of teaching and so it must be right”).

In the Reading First Impact Final Report, children participating in
Reading First classrooms did better than comparisons on a test of
decoding given in grade one. Reading First children did not, however,
do better on tests of reading comprehension in grades one, two, and
three, despite considerable extra instructional time (Gamse, Jacob,
Horst, Boulay, and Unlu, 2008).

This is the pattern we always see with intensive decoding approaches:
Children do well on tests in which they pronounce words presented in a
list, but don’t do well on tests in which they have to understand what
they read.

See for yourself:

Gamse, B., R. Jacob, R., M. Horst, B. Boulay, and F. Unlu 2008.
Reading First Impact Study Final Report (NCEE 2009-4038). Washington,
DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance,
Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

Garan, E. 2001a. Beyond the smoke and mirrors: A critique of the
National Reading Panel report on phonics. Phi Delta Kappan 82, no. 7
(March), 500-506.

Krashen, S. 2009. Does intensive decoding instruction contribute to
reading comprehension? Knowledge Quest 37 (4): 72-74.

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