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Reading and Writing

, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 2223–2246 | Cite as

The influence of decodability in early reading text on reading achievement: a review of the evidence

  • Jennifer P. CheathamEmail author
  • Jill H. Allor
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this review is to synthesize the existing research on decodability as a text characteristic examining how reading decodable text impacts students’ reading performance and growth. The results are organized into two sections based on the research designs of the studies: (1) studies that described student performance when reading texts of varying decodability levels, and (2) studies that compared the reading performance of students after participation in a treatment that manipulated decodable text as an independent variable. Collectively the results indicate that decodability is a critical characteristic of early reading text as it increases the likelihood that students will use a decoding strategy and results in immediate benefits, particularly with regard to accuracy. The studies point to the need for multiple-criteria text with decodability being one key characteristic in ensuring that students develop the alphabetic principle that is necessary for successful reading, rather than text developed based on the single criterion of decodability.

Keywords

Beginning reading Text factors Beginning texts 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human DevelopmentSouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA

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