The widely used Reading Recovery program does not work for children with dyslexia or who are really struggling to read, according to Professor James Chapman of New Zealand's Massey University.
His comments about this reading program were reported recently by Jewel Topsfield, Educator Editor for The Age newspaper in Melbourne.
Professor Chapman said "Reading Recovery needs to clean up its act and change its approach or be ditched and replaced by a program far more contemporary than one devised in the '70s that hasn't changed." He added that children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties needed systematic instruction in 'phonemic awareness', with children taught to sound out words.
The program is widely used in Australia and New Zealand where it was developed and is the subject of considerable controversary, with many educators critisising it's lack of success. But others, including Professor John Hattie, the chairman of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership defend it. However, Professor Hattie concedes that it has not been improved since the 1970s and the cost of one-on-one instruction is prohibitively high.
There are other reading programs which incorporate more recent research into the teaching of reading. Some of them incorporate neuroscience brain training principles to help struggling readers overcome their difficulties.