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Is phonics instruction effective Evidence from a systematic review of randomised controlled trials

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... reading and writing which focus on the relationships between letters and sounds. Synthetic phonics instruction: sounding out and blending e.g. kuh-a-tuh' cat' ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Is phonics instruction effective Evidence from a systematic review of randomised controlled trials


1
Is phonics instruction effective?Evidence from a
systematic review of randomised controlled trials
  • Carole J. Torgerson Greg Brooks Jill Hall
  •  University of York
  • University of Sheffield
  • Address for correspondence Dr Carole Torgerson,
    Senior Research Fellow, Dept of Educational
    Studies, University of York.
  • Email cjt3_at_york.ac.uk

2
Phonics and Whole Language
  • Phonics instruction a set of approaches to the
    initial teaching of reading and writing which
    focus on the relationships between letters and
    sounds
  • Synthetic phonics instruction sounding out and
    blending e.g. kuh-a-tuh cat
  • Analytic phonics instruction inferring sound
    symbol relationships from sets of words which
    share a letter and sound e.g. pet, park, push,
    pen
  • Whole language approaches, including whole word
    recognition and use of syntactic, graphical and
    semantic clues

3
Methods
  • Replication and update of previous meta-analysis
    (Ehri et al, 2001)
  • Inclusion criteria
  • Meta analyses
  • Publication bias
  • Sensitivity analysis

4
Findings
  • 12 individually randomised trials were identified
  • All were very small and only one was from the UK
  • Putting all the trials together in a
    meta-analysis found a small, statistically
    significant effect, on reading accuracy (moderate
    weight of evidence).
  • 3 trials directly compared synthetic with
    analytic phonics instruction. No difference
    between the two approaches was found, although
    this was based on weak evidence

5
Meta-analysis Forest plot
6
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Phonics meta-analysis had significant
    heterogeneity.
  • Removal of a single, small, outlier reduced this
    heterogeneity. However, removal of this study
    (Umbach) showed that the advantage of phonics
    teaching was no longer statistically significant.
  • Publication bias
  • Funnel plots

7
Different types of phonics
  • Three small trials compared synthetic vs
    analytical phonics.
  • A meta-analysis of these trials found no
    difference between the two approaches of teaching.

8
Synthesis synthetic vs analytic
9
Conclusions
  • The evidence from the meta-analysis of RCTs for
    phonics teaching is moderate, but it does favour
    systematic supplementary phonics teaching
  • Little evidence from the meta-analysis of RCTs
    supports any particular method of phonics
    teaching or the amount of phonics teaching
    required
  • Ideally a large school-randomized trial is needed
    to assess whether introducing systematic
    synthetic phonics teaching is effective

10
  • I am clear that the synthetic phonics should be
    the first strategy in teaching all children to
    read.
  • Ruth Kelly Times Mar 21st 2006.
  • The case for synthetic phonics is overwhelming.
  • Jim Rose Times Mar 21st 2006.

11
Phonics Review Report
  • http//www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/R
    R711_.pdf
  • Email cjt3_at_york.ac.uk
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