About the International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction (IFERI)

The International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction exists to raise awareness of the unacceptable variation in content, methodology and quality of teaching reading and writing in the English language around the world – whether English is the first or additional language.

Whilst the English language is vocabulary-rich, it has the most complex alphabetic code in the world resulting in reading and spelling being particularly challenging.

After decades of global research and very close scrutiny of teaching and learning practices, and substantial governmental-level reviews conducted in America (2000), Australia (2005) and England (2006), we know the ingredients of how best to teach reading regardless of the country, context or profile of learner.

To this day, however, the way in which learners are taught (or, not taught) remains a matter of CHANCE.

In many cases, leaners’ collective or individual difficulties with learning to read and spell can actually be caused, or worsened, by the prevailing teaching methods and/or the sheer lack of practice of the necessary content, knowledge and skills. An enormously high percentage of learners are identified as ‘dyslexic’ in English-speaking countries. How much is this about ‘dyslexia’ or, in reality, ‘dysteachia’?

This is a very, very serious international state of affairs and it is NEEDLESS.

Thanks to the internet, there exists a wealth of information about the research on reading, revelations about the history of the ‘reading wars’ and many references to evidence -based guidance for teaching reading. Our site provides a hub to existing information, various organisations and research-informed good work that is taking place around the world in various contexts.

Sadly, and unacceptably, many teachers and teacher-trainers themselves may not be adequately informed or trained, or their practices are misguided or uninformed, or they persist in flawed or weak practices because of their personal experiences and their prevailing beliefs, philosophies and misunderstandings.

In a world where we pride ourselves on our individuality and we recognise our many inherent, cultural and socio-economic differences, our tendency is to resist the idea that there can be a ‘one best way’ to teach reading or to learn to read. Far too often, poor literacy is blamed on the context of the learners rather than the content and quality of the teaching. Sir Jim Rose stated in his historic report that it is ‘…crucial to teach phonics work systematically, regularly and explicitly because children are highly unlikely to work out this relationship for themselves. It cannot be left to chance, or for children to ferret out, on their own, how the alphabetic code works‘ (Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading Final Report, Jim Rose, March 2006).

Our IFERI organisation aims to address the disconnect between research academics, teacher-trainers, teachers, learners, learners’ parents, politicians and the general public. You are invited to join us as an individual, an organisation (including schools and universities) and even as a Government! We aim to raise awareness about the failure, refusal or neglect of those who persist in promoting and funding training, and writing curricula, programmes and practices, which are not in accord with findings from research and leading-edge practices. This is our collective responsibility. This is a matter of ‘life chances’ for millions of children and people around the world.

Please join us and support us in practical ways in the aspiration for world-wide literacy.