There are multiple ways to teach and learn reading. Some methods work better than others, and some readers learn better from one method than they do from another.
In 1997, Congress asked the NICHD, along with the U.S. Department of Education, to form the National Reading Panel to review research on how children learn to read and determine which methods of teaching reading are most effective based on the research evidence. The National Reading Panel developed recommendations based on the findings in reading research on the best way to teach children to read. They found that specific instruction in the major parts of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) was the best approach to teaching most children to read. They also noted that instruction should be systematic (well planned and consistent) and explicit. Although the National Reading Panel is more than a decade old, the findings on reading instruction are still relevant today.
In addition, NICHD-supported researchers have discovered other things about learning to read, including (but not limited to):
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