Research evidence

Flying Start to Literacy is based on research from the National Early Literacy Panel (2008) and the National Reading Panel (2000) in the United States, the Rose Report (2006) in Britain, Teaching Reading (2005) in Australia, and several other major books, reports, and research investigations into early literacy teaching.

Significant findings are:

High-frequency words should have a high rate of repetition.
Clay, 2002; Elley, 1989; Hargis, Terhaar-Yonkers, Williams, and Reed, 1988; Helman and Burns 2008; Hiebert, Brown, Taitague, Fisher, and Adler, 2004; Fry, and Kress, 2006.

Key vocabulary needs to be controlled and introduced systematically.
Hiebert and Sailors 2009; Helman and Burns, 2008; Mesmer and Cumming, 2009.

A variety of text types enable the development of a range of reading strategies.
Duke and Buillman, 2009; Derewianka, 1990.

Reading and writing are linked.
Derewianka, 1990; Paquette, 2007; McCarrier, Fountas and Pinnell, 2000.

Text difficulty should be carefully sequenced to build reading strategies.
Clay, 2002; Fountas and Pinnell, 2006.

Phonics and phonemic awareness need to be taught systematically and explicitly.
Ehri, Nunes, Stahl, and Willows, 2001; Torgerson, Brooks, and Hall, 2006; Paris, 2005.

Fluency enhances comprehension.
Pressley, Gaskins, and Fingeret, 2006; Rasinsky, 2006.

Assessment should be ongoing and should inform instruction.
Snow and Van Hemel, 2008.

How Flying Start to Literacy applies the research findings reflecting best teaching practice.

Key vocabulary needs to be controlled and introduced systematically.
• Connected, paired books revisit key vocabulary in different text types.

High-frequency words should have a high rate of repetition.
• Connected, paired books present the same high-frequency words in different sentence structures and contexts.

A variety of text types enable the development of a range of reading strategies.
• Text types with different structures and text features build reading strategies.

Text complexity should be carefully sequenced to build reading strategies.
• Flying Start to Literacy is sequenced into 7 Developmental stages and Guided Reading Levels A-P™.

Phonics and phonemic awareness need to be taught systematically and explicitly.
• Underpinning the program is a systematic and explicit sequence of phonemic awareness and phonics.
• Re-reading of books to improve word identification skills and comprehension is emphasized throughout the program.

Fluency enhances comprehension.
• A Broad range of strategies builds students’ comprehension and fluency.

Reading and writing are linked.
• The range of text types and the pairing of informational and narrative texts provide models of writing for the readers.

Assessment should be ongoing and inform instruction.
• Each Lesson Plan identifies a reading strategy for that book and monitoring points alert the teacher to observe how each student is using the selected strategy.
• Assessment checklists are available online: www.flying-start-to-literacy.com

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