Reading may be viewed as an invisible skill, and some may even consider it a passive skill. However, reading is an active and complex skill. It requires one to use a wide range of skills simultaneously to achieve fluency. Hence, it is crucial to learn and use strategies to master such a complex skill. Today, research states that fluent reading includes using top-down and bottom-up strategies, or an interactive approach, to truly become a fluent reader. In fact, research has shown the effects that all three models have had on students. More specifically, L1 studies have shown positive effects in using phonics instruction (a type of bottom-up model) on students' reading fluency. Although this is true, there has been little research in L2 settings that investigates the effects that phonics instruction has had on L2 learners. It seems that L2 reading curricula focus on teaching top-down strategies in hopes that students implicitly learn bottom-up strategies. In reality, students may need to experience a transitional phase where they explicitly learn phonics and how to decode words in order to become fluent readers. The current study seeks to explore whether implementing extended explicit systematic phonics instruction in an L2 setting facilitates reading fluency. Thus, the goal of this study was to investigate whether extended explicit systematic phonics instruction would affect L2 students' reading fluency in terms of decoding, reading rate and comprehension. Two groups of students participated in this study; an experimental group who received extended explicit systematic phonics instruction and a control group who did not receive the treatment. Two types of exams were administered. One exam indicated that phonics instruction helped students read words accurately, but the second exam illustrated that phonics instruction did not make a difference in decoding, reading rate and comprehension. These results suggest further exploration on the topic.



College and Department

Humanities; Linguistics and English Language



Date Submitted


Document Type





reading fluency, phonics, decoding, reading rate, comprehension



Included in

Linguistics Commons