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Recommended Reading

Early Reading Instruction: what science really tells us about how to teach reading.
Diane McGuinness. MIT Press. 2004.
Prof. McGuinness describes the book as, ”largely an inductive analysis of the historical evidence and the empirical research on reading instruction”

”This book changed my life. Buy it. Read it. Be research-informed” (Anne Glennie. 2022)

”You can do no better than to read Diane McGuinness’ masterful, Early Reading Instruction: What Science Really Tells Us about How to Teach Reading” says English teacher and author David Didau.

Language Development and Learning to Read: the scientific study of how language development affects reading skill.
Diane McGuinness. MIT Press. 2005.
The equally informative companion volume to Diane McGuinness’ Early Reading Instruction.

Why Children Can’t Read: and what we can do about it.
Diane McGuinness. Pub. Penguin (UK) Out of Print. 1997.
USA edition. In Print. Why Our Children Can’t Read: and what we can do about it. Pub. Simon&Schuster.
With a foreword by Prof. Steven Pinker: ”(O)ne of the most important books of the decade”.

”A superb achievement…This clearly written and authoritative work is the work to read for parents and teachers who wish everyone in our democracy to be able to read” (E.D. Hirsch, Jr.)

”If you only ever read two books about language and literacy, make them “The Language Instinct” by Steven Pinker and “Why Children Can’t Read” by Diane McGuinness” 

FREE. An introduction to the English Alphabet Code. Diane McGuinness

Language at the speed of sight: How we read, why so many can’t, and what can be done about it.
Mark Seidenberg. Pub. Basic Books. 2017.
Primary teacher training essential text. 
Free. Book Study Guide Ch.1-6. https://seidenbergreading.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Language-at-the-Speed-of-Sight-Study-Guide-Chapters-1-6.pdf

The Art & Science of Teaching Primary Reading.
Christopher Such. Pub. Corwin. 2021.
An essential text for ITT, written by a practising primary teacher.

The Reading Framework. 2023.
New, updated DfE guidance for teaching Reception (4-5 year olds) to Year 9 (13-14 year olds).
”It includes lots about synthetic phonics and developing spoken language for the foundations and then fluency, wide reading and reading for pleasure” (Elizabeth Nonweiler)

Ofsted Research Review Series. English. 2022.

FREE. Sounds-Write’s English Spellings: A Lexicon.

That Spelling Thing Handbook.
Tricia Millar.
Fast first-aid for spelling difficulties using linguistic phonics, with lessons & resources for teachers in secondary, college and adult education. https://thatspellingthing.com/about-the-book/
”That Spelling Thing’ teaches children how to spell *everything* (not just spelling lists) & is deeply rooted in best research & practice” (Monique. specialist reading&spelling tutor)

Chapter 4 in Handbook of Early Literacy Research. Volume 2. Ed. by Dickinson & Neuman. Pub. Guilford
Literacy Development: Insights from Research on Skilled Reading.
Ashby & Rayner.
This book (and chapter) is available for preview on Google Books.

Chapter 27 in Handbook of Orthography and Literacy. Ed. by Joshi and Aaron.
Theoretical Framework for Beginning Reading in Different Orthographies.
Philip H K Seymour.

Chapter 9 in Wiley Handbook of Developmental Psychology in Practice: Implementation and Impact.
The trials & tribulations of changing how reading is taught in schools: synthetic phonics & the educational backlash.
R. Johnston & J. Watson.
This book (and chapter) is available for preview on Google Books

Rose Review 2006. Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading.
FREE download. Foundation document for synthetic phonics teaching.

Reading in the Brain: the science and evolution of a human invention.
Stanislas Dehaene. Pub. Penguin. 2009.

Thinking Reading: what every secondary teacher needs to know about reading.
James and Dianne Murphy. Pub. John Catt Educational Ltd. 2018.

Progress in Understanding Reading and Learning to Read: From Politics to Science.
K. Stanovich. Pub. Guilford Press. 2000.
Free. Chapter 10. Matthew effects in reading: Some consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy http://www.keithstanovich.com/Site/Research_on_Reading_files/RRQ86A.pdf
Free. Chapter 20. Romance & Reality.

The Clackmannanshire study: A Seven Year Study of the Effects of Synthetic Phonics Teaching on Reading and Spelling Attainment.
Johnston & Watson. 2005.
Foundational research on UK-style synthetic phonics.
Free. https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/14793/1/0023582.pdf

A Parent’s Guide to Phonics: Understanding How to Help your Child with Reading and Spelling.
Ann Sullivan. Available from Amazon: paperback and Kindle. Note: UK/US versions are available.
Inexpensive and accessible, written for parents and those new to supporting children learning to read. It explains how written language is put together, what phonics is and how reading (and spelling) are taught using a structured approach. There is a section on teaching phonics to pupils with special educational needs. UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Parents-Guide-Phonics-Understanding-Spelling-ebook/dp/B0BGT2Q754

Growing a reader from birth: your child’s path from language to literacy.
Diane McGuinness. Pub. Norton. 2004.
Understanding a child’s emerging language from first babblings to a five-year-old’s mastery of reading.
”For anyone with young children and nursery/early years teachers, it’s brilliant” says John Walker.

Free. ‘Dyslexia’ chapter. Hugo Kerr.

Free. 2004. Developmental dyslexia in adults: a research review

It’s Time to Be Scientific About Dyslexia.
J. Elliott. 2020.
Free. https://ila.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/rrq.333

The Dyslexia Debate
Elliott & Grigorenko. Pub CUP. 2014.
”An examination of how we use the term ‘dyslexia’ and its failings as a clinical diagnosis. Taking into account the latest research in cognitive science, genetics, and neuroscience”
Free excerpt p1-10. What is dyslexia?: 

1997. Why Schoolchildren Can’t Read.
Bonnie Macmillan.
FREE to read online: http://howtoteachreading.org.uk/resources/

1996. Reading Fever: why phonics must come first.
Martin Turner & Tom Burkard. Pub. CPS.
Free. https://cps.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/111027152221-ReadingFever.pdf

1985. When Children Don’t Learn: understanding the biology and psychology of learning disabilities.
Diane McGuinness. Pub. Basic Books.
Sex differences in language, reading, maths, hyperactivity (ADHD) and the implications for classroom and parenting practices.

1981. Why Johnny STILL can’t read: a new look at the scandal of our schools.
R. Flesch. Pub. HarperCollins.
Follow up to his earlier influential polemic -see below.

1965. In Spite of the Alphabet: a study of the teaching of reading.
Hunter Diack. Pub. Chatto & Windus.
History of the teaching of reading in the UK. Diack was a joint author of the phonics-based ‘Royal Road Readers’ available in the 1960s.

1955. Why Johnny Can’t Read: and what you can do about it.
R. Flesch. Pub. HarperCollins.
The original ‘Why…’ book.

1898. On the Teaching of English Reading
Nellie Dale.
Free. http://ia902307.us.archive.org/10/items/onteachingofengl00daleuoft/onteachingofengl00daleuoft.pdf

1866. Reading without tears, or, A pleasant mode of learning to read.
Favell Lee Mortimer.
Free. http://books.google.com/books?id=p5oNAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=reading%2Bwithout%2Btears&as_brr=1#v=onepage&q&f=false