Thesis Title

The Effectiveness of a Skill Based Explicit Phonics Reading Program K-2 as Measured by Studetn Performance and Teacher Evaluation

Graduation Date

Spring 1999

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name



This study focuses on the effectiveness and advantages of using an explicit phonics based reading program in kindergarten through second grade. As teachers, the methods of decoding words that we introduce to the beginning readers must prove to be effective in introducing and building reading skills. Most recent studies have revisited and concurred with studies done in the 1930s and 1960s that the lack of phonics based reading instruction leaves students without important decoding skills necessary in recognizing letter/sound relationships in reading. The subjects in this study are twelve inner-city Catholic elementary school students. Four students at each grade level are evaluated and interviewed. Each student is at a different reading level identified as high,- medium and low. Another component of the study is the teacher interview directed at each grade level teacher kindergarten through second grads. The teachers are interviewed as to their philosophy, style and methodology of teaching reading using explicit phonics instruction.

The research method used is qualitative. It is practice based research done within the classroom environment. Each of the four students at each grade level are evaluated as to their reading level, word attack skills and use of phonetic decoding skill during the second semester of the 1998-1999 school year The three teachers are interviewed with a set of eight questions on philosophy of teaching reading, style and methods of phonics instruction. Data gathering, evaluation and results are coded to insure interviewed and research subjects confidentiality and anonymity. The implications of this study are to add to the existing research that the learning of the phonological structure of a word through use of phonetic decoding skills determines the success of the emergent reader kindergarten through second grade.

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