The Big Six

Learning to read is one of the most important outcomes of education. But reading is an incredibly complex process. It’s underpinned by oral language skills and involves very specific skill development (phonemic and decoding strategies) and the application of comprehension strategies. In order to teach students to read successfully, educators need to understand the delicate ways in which these skills and strategies work together to meet individual students at their point of need.

Over the past four decades, numerous largescale reviews of research into the effective teaching of these skills and strategies have occurred in North America, Britain and Australia. The aim was to provide solid, evidence-based guidelines for education systems 7-12. There’s a compelling consistency in the findings that form the base of ‘The Big Six’ elements listed in this article.

Compiled by Chris Brown, Assistant Principal, Bacchus Marsh Primary School.

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