1st Edition

Beginning Reading
A balanced approach to literacy instruction in the first three years of school

ISBN 9781741146394
Published August 1, 2005 by Routledge
304 Pages

USD $32.95

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Book Description

Most children learn to read, irrespective of the method of instruction. Yet up to a fifth of children struggle with reading in their first few years at school. Unfortunately, those who struggle in the early years will continue to struggle throughout their school career.

Yola Center offers a systematic, research-based guide to teaching reading in the first three years of school. Her aim is to ensure that teachers can work with at-risk or reluctant readers in the regular classroom as effectively as with children for whom reading seems to come naturally.

Taking an analytic approach to reading, Beginning Reading shows how children can be moved through the key stages of early reading acquisition. Each chapter includes an overview of relevant research, practical classroom strategies and guidelines for lesson planning.

Center adopts a balanced view of reading instruction, stressing the importance of phonological processes at the beginning of literacy instruction, as well as semantic and syntactic ones. This supports at risk children in regular classrooms, who are provided with the maximum opportunity to develop the accurate and fluent word recognition skills that are needed in order to extract meaning from print.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Who needs another book on reading instruction?


1. Speaking and reading

Section 2: Starting the first school year

2. A balanced literacy program: theory and practice

3. Listening comprehension

4. Phonological awareness

Section 3: The first year at school

5. The formal literacy program: Theory

6. The formal literacy program: Rationale and outline

7. Sound/symbol correspondence

8. Phonemic awareness

9. Decodable texts, word families and text features

10. Spelling

Section 4: The second year at school

11. Literary texts

12. Factual and procedural texts

13. Word building and morphological awareness

14. Fluency and reading comprehension acquisition

Section 5: The third year at school

15. Listening comprehension

16. Reading comprehension and creative writing

Section 6: Assessment and intervention

17. Assessment

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Yola Center is Associate Professor in the School of Education at Macquarie University, Sydney.


'At last! A book that combines an overview of recent research findings and their implications for the teaching of reading with sensible and practical suggestions for classroom teachers.'
Morag Stuart, Professor in the Psychology of Reading, University of London

'This is an excellent book. It comprehensively reviews the research literature and shows how to apply it to the nuts and bolts of teaching reading in the first few years of school. It is a must-read for teachers.'
Professor Tom Nicholson, University of Auckland, New Zealand

'This is the book that we have all been waiting for. It is the only book that I have seen that focuses on a theoretically sound approach to the teaching of reading with a focus on children who experience difficulties in the regular classroom.'
Ruth Fielding-Barnsley, Queensland University of Technology

'It is indeed rare when a reading scientist can explain the intricacies of reading development, reading difficulties, and reading instruction with such clarity and comprehensiveness. Most importantly, Dr Center provides a masterful synthesis of the most current converging scientific evidence available that defines what research-based reading instruction is all about.'
G. Reid Lyon, PhD, National Institutes of Health, USA