An examination of the history of reading instruction reveals that there has been a long-standing controversy over the effectiveness of the teaching of phonics. It is readily apparent from such an historical study that the enthusiasm for phonics as an effective methodology by the experts in reading instruction has waxed and waned over the years (Matthews, 1966). Only in relatively recent times, however, have carefully controlled and analytical reviews been made of the total of the respectable research evidence that deals with this issue.
Fulwiler, G., & Groff, P. (1980). The Effectiveness of Intensive Phonics. Reading Horizons, 21 (1). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol21/iss1/10