By: Dr. Susan Cobb,
The Reading Horizons program was implemented within a
Beginning with the
Classroom research shows that on the average, children who are taught phonics get off to a better start in learning to read than children who are not taught phonics (Chall, 1989). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the Reading Horizons program (Lockhart, 1989) within a
This program appears useful with students having difficulty in reading and spelling, a student who is a "beginner," or for adults who wish to improve their reading skills.
Projects REST and SOS involved six classrooms for elementary age students grades two through six. All 39 students had some type of reading/learning problem, most falling into the guidelines of learning disabilities, and/or behavior disorders with the exception of three who were in the program for enrichment.
These students were instructed in small group tutorial situations for the most part. There were three thirty minute segments of intensive phonics on various levels. These involved letter recognition, word-attack skills, spelling, decoding, vocabulary expansion, comprehension skills, writing and utilization of combined skills.
Although only six weeks of explicit phonics instruction were given, significant gains were noted for one group. The authors found word attack skills improved for students completing other academic tasks requiring reading such as math word problems, language experience and leisure time reading.
Reference: "Reading Improvement" Fall 1990, Volume 27, Pgs:218, 219.