Advocators of the systomatic Phonics approach to learning have been long aware of this research, so we're glad to see it hitting the headlines today.
A recent study conducted by Marlynne Grant demonstrated that in 2013, members of a year two class of seven-year-olds using Phonics were on average 28 months ahead of their chronological age for reading and 21 months above their age for spelling.
The publication of the research comes as 500,000 year one children in state primary schools in England take the phonics screening check this week, a brief test to measure progress. Teachers and unions initially resisted the use of the check, which followed the coalition's introduction of compulsory synthetic phonics to teach literacy in state schools. But since then, more teachers have embraced the method, which is supported by research in the UK and abroad.
Phonics techniques have achieved "very high" results, according to the research, which cited the example of a seven-year-old boy able to read and spell to the level of a 13-year-old.
The use of a systematic synthetic phonics programme was shown to give children a flying start with their reading, writing and spelling, it was effective for catch-up, it reduced special educational needs across the schools and it enabled higher numbers of children to transfer to their secondary schools well equipped to access the curriculum," Grant concluded.
Grant said that there was no evidence to suggest that phonics teaching will "switch off" children from a love of reading books. "On the contrary, children taught in this way pick up reading quickly. They become enthusiastic and confident in their reading and are more able and willing to engage in the world of reading around them," Grant said.
Wow! you can read the full Guardian article here