Trust the Science of Reading to Inform Instruction
In spite of the fact that we learn to listen and speak without explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction, it should not be assumed that we learn to read and write in the same manner. Indeed, although spoken and written language may seem to be inverse operations similar to addition and subtraction, they are not (Adams, 1990; Gough & Hillinger, 1980; Seidenberg, 2017; Wolf, 2008). Spoken language is a natural act that evolved over thousands and thousands of years, causing our brains to become “wired” for listening and speaking; conversely, written language was only invented a few thousand years ago, meaning our brains are not wired for reading and writing. The science of reading has shown that learning to read and write is not a natural act—rather, this undertaking requires explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction (Castles, Rastle, & Nation, 2018; Gough & Hillinger, 1980; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [NICHD], 2000; Seidenberg, 2017).