A well organised comprehensive approach to the teaching of reading that include systematic teaching of specific reading skills produces better reader. how far do far do you agree with this statement?
There is definitely more to teaching reading, but you should take a comprehensive approach to teaching skills. Reading requires practice, but it also requires word-attack strategies and phonics skills. Kids need a lot to be successful.
I agree to some extent with the above statement, but there are other things to consider. Does the student struggle with any issues that interfere with his or her ability to learn to read? Are there any options for personalizing the "comprehensive and organized" instruction? and etc.
The best reading skill which can be taught, it seems to me, is phonics. I teach high school, and it's painfully obvious to all of us (students, as well) which students had early phonics training and which didn't. It's nearly 100%, in my experience, of students who struggle with reading and did not learn phonics. To be honest, understanding that (as we've talked in a private setting) has been quite a relief to some students who just thought they were dumb or naturally poor readers. Several have even gone to the extra effort to re-learn via phonics and have experienced great success. I agree with your statement--sight words and guessing do nothing to create effective readers but do create great guessers.
As an elementary education major between 1999 and 2003, the big push in literacy education was for "whole language learning" over teaching phonics. I remember wildly disagreeing with whole language learning over phonics. I came to appreciate a blending of the two seemed to be one of most comprehensive approaches to teaching literacy.
I agree with the above statement. Even now, I am still a proponent of phonics - too many students who did not receive basic sight reading skills struggle when they reach middle and high school and have stopped reading for pleasure.
In addition to a comprehensive approach that teaches reading skills, I also believe in the early childhood years there simply needs to be immersion in reading and words and letters and language. The more children are exposed to, the less afraid they will be. Then, in higher grades, continue this trend with things like word walls, and cross-curricular reading that engages students' language arts AND science skills (for example).
In my experience, kids who enjoy reading, are good at it, and usually good at writing as well. So finally, anything we teachers can do at any age to encourage turning off the TV or computer and reading for pleasure is probably the best thing we can be doing for our students.