The alphabetic principle...and beyond

Edited by Robyn Cox, Susan Feez and Lorraine Beveridge

Chapter 4 -Systematic and explicit phonics instruction: A scientific, evidence-based approach to teaching the alphabetic principle

written by Jennifer Buckingham, Robyn Wheldall and Kevin Wheldall


This chapter explains how beginning readers are taught the alphabetic principle using systematic and explicit phonics instruction in the first few years of school. The purpose of this type of instruction is to teach all beginning readers how to decode and recognise words accurately, independently and automatically. This is achieved by directly and systematically teaching children letter–sound correspondence in a planned sequence. Word recognition is described as one component of skilled reading alongside comprehension, but it is the component that represents the foundation of future reading success.

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