The 6 Pillars of Literacy Instruction

Essential Components of Reading (With Spelling)

In 2000, the National Reading Panel (NRP) reviewed thousands of studies on reading research.

The National Reading Panel’s analysis made it clear that the best approach to reading instruction is one that incorporates:

  • Explicit instruction in phonemic awareness
  • Systematic phonics instruction
  • Methods to improve fluency
  • Ways to enhance comprehension


The panel found that a combination of explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension is effective for teaching children to read.  More recent research challenged the NRP’s original assumption that spelling develops naturally as a result of direct instruction in phonics and phonemic awareness.   Spelling instruction is needed to develop students’ spelling skills. For more information on the NRP’s work: National Reading Panel Publications