A fall-out of the Reading Wars is that phonics programs mostly stagnated. In their struggle against whole language and balanced literacy, phonics was always clearly in the right, right?

But for over 50 years, the science of how the brain learns to read has marched steadily forward, discovery after discovery. And at the same time, most phonics approaches have stayed locked in their original paradigm from the 1930’s or 50’s.

Some have tacked on a little more phonological awareness or phonemic awareness as a separate component, but the original paradigms have not been reworked in light of contemporary research.

When scientists discovered that reading is built on the back of speech, for instance, why didn’t phonics programs start organizing instruction based on phonology, rather than the adult reader’s lens of letters and spellings?

I was honored to present to Donna Hejtmanek's highly-engaged Facebook group, Science of Reading: What I Should Have Learned in College on this topic of "speech to print" approaches. Some call these "speech to print" approaches. Some call them "linguistic phonics."

Whatever the name, there may be important insights to glean from this refinement of a synthetic phonics approach. If you missed it, you're welcome to watch below! 

During the talk, I shared a tentative family tree of speech to print approaches. I've been "collecting" programs that share some or all of the principles mentioned in the above video for many, many years. This depiction below is the result of this work.

If you have suggestions for additions or edits, I'd be pleased to hear them!

Family Tree Of Speech To Print Reading Programs

Now we're mulling around the name, "Say Spell Read," instead of "Speech to Print."

What do you think? Please comment below!