The Missing Link is Auditory Skills
Researchers have been looking inside children's brains while they do literacy tasks. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) they discovered that poor readers showed differences in brain activities than those who are literate. Affected areas were the language centers.
What does this mean? Children who struggle in reading have physical differences in their brains when trying to "sound out" unfamiliar words. They have a hard time recalling letter sounds to make words, and their auditory skills are weak. Therefore, they can't identify words they see. But their brains work well in other areas, which explains why they can be bright, yet functionally illiterate. The good news is that their brains are not etched in stone. Their language and auditory skills can be strengthened. Your son or daughter will become a good reader-with your help. All it costs is fifteen minutes a day.
The Tri-Method Instruction to Literacy Success
In a perfect world, children would learn how to read using a combination of three methods of instruction: auditory training, phonics, and whole language. It's clear from research that using one of these methods will help only a few children. In fact, using two out of three methods will still leave numerous children illiterate. However, when auditory training, phonics and whole language are merged, literacy rates increase significantly. Hopefully, you will see all three methods reflected in curriculum and used in American classrooms soon.