Education research continues to develop an increasingly clear picture of how classroom teaching can best support the acquisition of key reading sub-skills.

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A ‘structured literacy’ approach to teaching reading is best. It draws on decades of research evidence, including cognitive science, and suggests teachers should explicitly and systematically teach students the key sub-skills needed for reading, including phonics knowledge.

Students should learn to sound out the letters of each word, and teachers should read aloud rich literature to their class. Once students have mastered decoding new words, they still need explicit teaching to build up their background knowledge and vocabulary, so they can comprehend what they read – the ultimate goal of reading.

Jordana Hunter

Education Program Director
Dr Jordana Hunter is the Education Program Director at Grattan Institute. She has an extensive background in public policy design and implementation, with expertise in school education reform as well as economic policy.