Thursday, April 14, 2011

Maay 1990: Justification for Whole Language and Phonics

Questions: Why whole language? Why phonics?

Answer/Quote: “Teachers are currently attuned to the instructional potential of using children’s literature to teach beginning reading. Proponents advocate the use of whole stories, value a meaning emphasis, and believe that through repeated readalongs, assisted reading…and shared-book experiences…many children will begin to read spontaneously.” 648.

“However, there is also strong support for early, intensive instruction in phonic analysis to help students achieve independence in word recognition…. Considerable research documents the importance of early, intensive phonics instruction so that children acquire independence in word identification…. According to Chall (1987), ‘Research evidence over the past 70 years indicates overwhelmingly that direct instruction in phonics is needed and contributes to better development of decoding, word recognition, and comprehension.’ This same conclusion is drawn by the authors of Becoming a Nation of Readers ‘On the average, children who are taught phonics get off to a better start in learning to read than children who are not taught phonics….’ Thus, there is strong support for the value of phonics instruction.” 648.

Comment: The author then suggests children’s books that provide resources for teaching phonics. If my readers are interested in this approach to beginning reading, contact the International Reading Association to purchase this article with its accompanying reading lists ( RayS.

Short a
Marjorie Flack, Angus and the Cat. Doubleday, 1931.
Helen Griffith, Alex and the Cat. Greenwillow, 1882.
Jack Kent, The Fat Cat Scholastic, 1971.
Bernard Most. There’s an Ant in Anthony. William Morrow, 1980.
Joan Nodset. Who Took the Farmer’s Hat? Harper & Row, 1985.
Joan Robins. Addie Meets Max. Harper & Row, 1985.
Karen Schmidt. The Gingerbread Man. Scholastic, 1985.
Dr. Seuss. The Cat in the Hat. Random House, 1957.

Title: “Using Children’s Literature to Enhance Phonics Instruction.” Phyllis Trachtenburg. Reading Teacher (May 1990), 648-654.

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