American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review


The Use of Phonics in the Teaching of Reading and Spelling.

Brooks, G., & Torgerson, C. J. (2008).
EBP Briefs, 3(2), 1-12 (electronic publication)

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes*
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a systematic review of randomized controlled trials which address the effectiveness of phonics instruction to improve childrens' reading accuracy, comprehension, and/or spelling.

Question(s) Addressed:

  1. Does systematic phonics teaching enable children to make better progress in reading accuracy (word identification) than unsystematic or no phonics teaching?
  2. Does systematic phonics teaching enable both normally developing children and those at risk of failure to make better progress in reading accuracy than unsystematic or no phonics teaching?
  3. Does systematic phonics teaching enable children to make better progress in reading comprehension than unsystematic or no phonics teaching?
  4. Does systematic phonics teaching enable children to make better progress in spelling than unsystematic or no phonics teaching?
  5. Does systematic synthetic phonics instruction enable children to make better progress than systematic analytic phonics teaching? 

Population: Children (not further specified).

Intervention/Assessment: Systematic synthetic or analytic phonics teaching

Number of Studies Included: 12

Years Included: Not stated

Findings:

Conclusions:

  • Treatment
    • Language
      • Reading
        • Phonics Instruction
          • There is moderate evidence to suggest that reading accuracy is improved with phonics instruction.
          • No conclusions can be reached regarding comprehension and spelling secondary to weak evidence.
          • No conclusions can be reached regarding the use of analytic versus synthetic phonics instruction secondary to weak evidence.
          • Due to the limited number of studies included, the authors conclude that the findings be interpreted with caution.

Keywords: Literacy

Access the Review

Note:

*The authors describe the databases searched, however do not indicate key words used or years searched.

Added to Compendium: March 2012

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