In 1997, Congress asked the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) along with the US Department of Education, to form the National Reading Panel (NRP) to review research on how children learn to read and determine which methods of teaching reading are most effective. The results were the basis of the “No Child Left Behind Policy.” According to the NRP, the five essential elements of Reading Instruction are as follows: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Reading Fluency, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension. Based on the research results mentioned above, the Instant Reader Program was developed around five (5) key core elements. These elements are:
Forty-four (44) phonemes are taught in the program as opposed to just twenty-six (26) letters of the alphabet
The sequence in which each phoneme is introduced is based on the ease of speaking the sound and the frequency it naturally appears in the English language. This is one critical component of the program since the sequence is not in simple alphabetical order.
Each phoneme is introduced using an animal friend for better recall
Animal friends are used in the samples and stories making them more relevant to the students
Emphasis on blending is given at the start of the program