USA article but relevant to all parts of the world.
Pre-school programs pay off
Sociologists Farkas and Beron (2004) studied the research on 6,800 children from ages 3 to 12, and found that children from the lower socio-economic levels were far more likely to arrive at school with smaller vocabularies (12-14 months behind) and they seldom made up the loss as they grew older.
The importance of literacy cannot be overemphasized. Ask somebody who can’t read whether life would be different — whether life would be better — if reading and writing were easy instead of a struggle.
This is why I think it is so important that 'parents' are informed fully about the reading debate, about the alphabetic code via Alphabetic Code Charts and about the need for masses of 'chatter' with their teenies and masses of sharing of fabulous literature.
The experiences of children - both pre-school and in-school - should not be left to chance.
We need a knowledgeable general public - and yet, to this day, we read so many rather 'anti phonics' or 'phonics denialism' or 'phonicsphobia' articles in our English press.
http://www.phonicsinternationalpreschoo ... et_TRS.pdf
Our teaching union leaders fall into the category of 'phonicsphobic' and have worked hard to undermine the Year One Phonics Screening Check in England.
Some of our most well-known children's authors also fall into the category of 'phonicsphobic' and I have personally witnessed the constant negative 'digs' about phonics in their talks and articles. Many signed a petition against the phonics check headed up by Michael Rosen.
The point will come, however, when (thanks to the internet) we do have an informed parent body - and hopefully we will never again return to rejection of teaching the alphabetic code (at all or properly) in our teaching profession.
Be warned, however, that we are a long way from all our teachers who teach the English language being aware of excellent systematic synthetic phonics practice both here in England and elsewhere across the world.
And some are sort of 'aware' but not really knowledgeable or trained in systematic synthetic phonics - and they may 'believe' in different approaches such as 'whole language' or 'mixed methods'.
Those in political and educational authority may well stick to the 'teachers must make their own choices' or 'children have different learning styles' rather than educate the teaching profession about the research and leading-edge practice in reading instruction.
Of course what children receive should not be 'pot luck' - it should be based on the leading-edge research and classroom findings.