Decodable readers (phonically regular) are books which follow a sequential pattern of phonics rules and serve as a valuable reinforcement to explicit systematic phonics instruction. The readers contain only the phonic elements the child has already learnt and the rules and words build upon each other gradually, allowing the reader to connect with the text and experience success and accomplishment instantly.
Decodable readers are an essential component to any synthetic reading program as they reinforce decoding; a critical skill that all beginning readers require.
The benefits of decodable readers are:
+ Students feel empowered by their ability to read the texts as success and accomplishment are experienced instantly.
+ Students are reading independently after learning just a few letters and their related sounds.
+ Students can sound out the unfamiliar words which creates accurate readers.
Unfortunately many schools rely upon leveled readers rather than decodable readers for reading which hinder reading progress in beginning readers as they are leveled with regard to vocabulary but not necessarily in relation to text and spelling levels which means that there are big differences in the difficulty levels of books within the same category.
Children may find some books easy and some books too hard within their ‘reading level’. Attached to these types of readers are frequent tests to ascertain if the child can progress to the next level. I feel that because these reading schemes are easy they are popular in schools.
Sources for decodable books-