Explicit instruction is a series of required instructional steps or procedures designed to guarantee that students understand explicitly what is expected of them and what is being taught. The Talking Page Literacy Organization’s approach to this instruction can be represented in the form of a “linguistics tree.” Phonemes, graphemes, and morphemes are the basic foundation of language and constitute the “roots” of the tree, which is where the tutoring program starts. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a language that is capable of conveying a distinction in meaning, such as the b in bat and the m in mat .
According to studies from the National Institute of Child and Human Development (NICHD), direct instruction in decoding skills emphasizing the alphabetic code results in more favorable outcomes than does a context-emphasis or embedded approach. In his 2000 address to Congress, Dr. Reid Lyon, former Chief of Child Development at NICHD, noted, “The average child needs between four and fourteen exposures to a new letter, letters, or words to automatize the recognition in the brain.”
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