The Science of Reading is a comprehensive body of multi-disciplinary research across education, psychology and cognitive neuroscience. This research provides a deep understanding of how we learn to read, the skills involved and the parts of the brain that are responsible. The Science of Reading has demystified how we learn to read and shows how teaching by whole word memorization is limited. Overall, the Science of Reading provides an evidence-based practice approach for the teaching of Rainbow Phonics.

Most reading difficulties can be prevented by following this approach involving intensive phonemic awareness training, systematic synthetic phonics and opportunities for repeated practice of Heart Words. Children will subsequently receive sufficient training in decoding and encoding, and apply their newly developing skills through decodable texts.It is accepted that comprehension is the ultimate goal for reading. However, reading comprehension is considered as a result of decoding and language comprehension. If either of these components are missing, reading comprehension cannot be achieved.The essential components of reading are highlighted in Scarborough’s Reading Rope. Rainbow Phonics explicitly teaches the code-based skills for word recognition. Learning to read and spell is more complex than just memorizing words. Rainbow Phonics utilizes systematic synthetic phonics as the most important component in early, effective reading instruction. Decodable texts develop meaning-based skills based on the application of new word recognition skills.

Brain Based Model of Reading


Developmentally, as toddlers learn to speak, the front of their brains develop a special module for speech output. This happens quite naturally – all that is needed is exposure to language and the human brain develops the ability to speak. However, when children go to school they need to acquire reading – a learned process that must be taught explicitly.

Phase 1 Rainbow Phonics introduces phonemic awareness formed in the front of the left brain (the area in charge of speech recognition). By practicing the operations of phonemic awareness (oral matching, blending and segmenting), students develop an awareness that spoken words can be broken up into single sounds, and that these sounds can be blended together to make words. To do this, teachers use activities such as nursery rhymes, songs and alliteration.

At the next stage of reading development, the learning of different letters happens towards the back of the left brain in an area often referred to as the letterbox. During Phases 2 - 3 students are introduced to the different letter patterns of the alphabet, and the letterbox, which is part of the brain’s visual system, can recognize these in an instant (graphemic awareness).

The process of reading involves two distinct circuits that project information from the back of the brain (letterbox) to the front of the brain (speech output) and our reward for reading correctly is access to meaning, occurring in the middle part of the left brain.

The dorsal (or upper) circuit plays an important role in mapping individual letters onto their corresponding sounds. These are blended together (in the front of the brain) to successfully sound out a word and to access its whole pronunciation. Phases 2 - 3 focuses on strengthening this circuit through systematic instruction where letter sounds are introduced daily, building this circuit's capacity over time.

Phases 2 - 5 also introduce Heart Words (alternatively termed tricky words or irregular words) which must be learned by sight and are accessed along the ventral (or lower) circuit. Reading activities using single words or more complex text involves both ventral and dorsal circuits working together.

Phase 5.5 introduces the alternative spellings for different sounds (phonemes). For example, the /ɑi/ sound can be spelled ɑi, ɑ, ɑ-e, ɑy. As students try to spell a word, the dorsal circuit works in reverse, moving from speech output to the letterbox. By having representations of the alternative spellings, children can use this circuit to encode (map from sound to letter) new words.

Fluency by Phase 6 places more emphasis on the ventral circuit, as most words are now read by flash, although the dorsal circuit still provides a complete sounding-out mechanism for when children come across an unfamiliar word.

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The Science of Reading is a comprehensive body of multi-disciplinary research across education, psychology and cognitive neuroscience. This research provides a deep understanding of how we learn to read, the skills involved and the parts of the brain that are responsible. The Science of Reading has demystified how we learn to read and shows how teaching by whole word memorization is limited. Overall, the Science of Reading provides an evidence-based practice approach for the teaching of Rainbow Phonics.

Most reading difficulties can be prevented by following this approach involving intensive phonemic awareness training, systematic synthetic phonics and opportunities for repeated practice of Heart Words. Children will subsequently receive sufficient training in decoding and encoding, and apply their newly developing skills through decodable texts.It is accepted that comprehension is the ultimate goal for reading. However, reading comprehension is considered as a result of decoding and language comprehension. If either of these components are missing, reading comprehension cannot be achieved.The essential components of reading are highlighted in Scarborough’s Reading Rope. Rainbow Phonics explicitly teaches the code-based skills for word recognition. Learning to read and spell is more complex than just memorizing words. Rainbow Phonics utilizes systematic synthetic phonics as the most important component in early, effective reading instruction. Decodable texts develop meaning-based skills based on the application of new word recognition skills.

Brain Based Model of Reading


Developmentally, as toddlers learn to speak, the front of their brains develop a special module for speech output. This happens quite naturally – all that is needed is exposure to language and the human brain develops the ability to speak. However, when children go to school they need to acquire reading – a learned process that must be taught explicitly.

Phase 1 Rainbow Phonics introduces phonemic awareness formed in the front of the left brain (the area in charge of speech recognition). By practicing the operations of phonemic awareness (oral matching, blending and segmenting), students develop an awareness that spoken words can be broken up into single sounds, and that these sounds can be blended together to make words. To do this, teachers use activities such as nursery rhymes, songs and alliteration.

At the next stage of reading development, the learning of different letters happens towards the back of the left brain in an area often referred to as the letterbox. During Phases 2 - 3 students are introduced to the different letter patterns of the alphabet, and the letterbox, which is part of the brain’s visual system, can recognize these in an instant (graphemic awareness).

The process of reading involves two distinct circuits that project information from the back of the brain (letterbox) to the front of the brain (speech output) and our reward for reading correctly is access to meaning, occurring in the middle part of the left brain.

The dorsal (or upper) circuit plays an important role in mapping individual letters onto their corresponding sounds. These are blended together (in the front of the brain) to successfully sound out a word and to access its whole pronunciation. Phases 2 - 3 focuses on strengthening this circuit through systematic instruction where letter sounds are introduced daily, building this circuit's capacity over time.

Phases 2 - 5 also introduce Heart Words (alternatively termed tricky words or irregular words) which must be learned by sight and are accessed along the ventral (or lower) circuit. Reading activities using single words or more complex text involves both ventral and dorsal circuits working together.

Phase 5.5 introduces the alternative spellings for different sounds (phonemes). For example, the /ɑi/ sound can be spelled ɑi, ɑ, ɑ-e, ɑy. As students try to spell a word, the dorsal circuit works in reverse, moving from speech output to the letterbox. By having representations of the alternative spellings, children can use this circuit to encode (map from sound to letter) new words.

Fluency by Phase 6 places more emphasis on the ventral circuit, as most words are now read by flash, although the dorsal circuit still provides a complete sounding-out mechanism for when children come across an unfamiliar word.

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