The “Wh” Questions of Visual Phonics: What, Who, Where, When, and Why
Visual Phonics is a reading instructional tool that has been implemented in isolated classrooms for over 20 years. In the past 5 years, several experimental studies demonstrated its efficacy with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Through a national survey with 200 participants, this study specifically addresses who, where, how, and why a sample of teachers use Visual Phonics in their everyday reading instruction. Through checklists of teaching practice, rating scales, and open-ended questions, teachers self-reported their use of Visual Phonics, reflected upon its efficacy, and what they think about using it with students with a diverse set of instructional needs. The majority reported that Visual Phonics was easy to use, engaging to students, and easy to integrate into a structured reading curriculum. The majority of respondents agreed that it helps increase phonemic awareness and decoding skills, build vocabulary, as well as increase reading comprehension. The implications of these findings in bridging the research-to-practice gap are discussed.