How decodable books support systematic phonics

“Evidence suggests that phonics teaching is more effective when children are given immediate opportunities to apply what they have learned to their reading (Hatcher, Hulme, & Ellis, 1994); so, for these reasons, we believe that there is a good argument for using decodable readers in the very early stages of reading instruction.”

‘Ending the Reading Wars: Reading Acquisition From Novice to Expert’: Anne Castles, Kathleen Rastle, and Kate Nation


Within the broader theory of Reading Instruction, decodable books play a small but crucial part. These are the ‘training wheels’ on a bike that support the novice reader until decoding becomes automatic and word recognition takes off.

There are many questions about how to use these ‘controlled’ texts: when to use them, and for how long? How they should be used, as sole reading materials or alongside ‘authentic texts’ that enrich vocabulary?  To Learn more about the role of decodable texts in reading instruction watch this interview of Tami Reis-Frankfort, one of the three founders of Phonic Books Ltd, and Emily Gibbons of The Literacy Nest.