How does Phonics help with spelling

Cochrane

About 5% of English speakers have significant problems learning to read words. Weak word readers are often trained to use letter-sounding rules to improve their reading skills. This training is commonly known as phonics training. The primary aim of this review was to determine the effectiveness of Phonics training in improving eight reading and writing skills for poor English speaking word readers. A secondary goal was to explore the effects of various factors, such as training duration and training group size, that could moderate or moderate the effect of phonics training on poor word reading skills.

We found 11 studies that met the inclusion criteria for this review. These studies included a total of 736 people. The amount of evidence varied significantly for each literacy skill, ranging from 10 studies of word reading accuracy to just one study of non-word reading fluency.

The results suggest that phonics training could be effective for improving some reading skills. In particular, it appears to have a large effect on non-word reading accuracy, a medium effect on word reading accuracy, and a small to medium effect on letter-sound knowledge. On some endpoints (word reading fluency, spelling / spelling, phonological output and reading comprehension), the phonics training might have a small or medium effect. However, it is difficult to be sure of this, as the results obtained could also be based on chance. Results for the non-word reading fluid, which was only measured in one study, went in a negative direction. But this could also be a random result.

Future Phonics training studies need to be improved to report the process of how participants are grouped and how they try to ensure that participants do not know whether they are in the "intervention group" or the "control group". Likewise, the studies should clearly report how they ensure that those measuring children's reading progress have no knowledge of whether or not the children were part of the phonics training group.