The debate over whether to include phonics in early literacy instruction has been one of the hottest topics in the field of reading. Researchers and teachers agree that children must be able to use graphophonic knowledge in order to learn to read. That is, children must understand that written symbols correspond to sounds which make up written words, and they must be able to decode new words. Yet there is still debate over whether phonics instruction is necessary for children to learn these concepts and skills.
McIntyre, E. (1993). Decoding Skill and Successful Beginning Reading in Different Instructional Settings. Reading Horizons, 34 (2). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol34/iss2/3