Friday, July 19, 2019

Using the Power of both Phonics and Whole Language Essay -- Teaching E

Whichever way you learned to read, chances are you never knew what the terms â€Å"phonics† or â€Å"whole language† meant. However, these are the terms that are at opposite ends of an on-going debate over the best way to teach children how to read. â€Å"Simply stated, supporters of the whole language approach think children's literature, writing activities, and communication activities can be used across the curriculum to teach reading; backers of phonics instruction insist that a direct, sequential mode of teaching enables students to master reading in an organized way† (Cromwell, 1997). Critics of phonics claim that the curriculum is too boring, that the endless worksheets will turn children away from the joy that could be reading and writing. Critics of whole language, however, claim that there is too little structure and that the students will fail to properly comprehend what they are reading and spell words correctly (Curtis, 1997). At times the debate has become rather polarized, despite the fact that the methods are not necessarily dichotomous. People have often politicized the debate as well, which fails to keep the best interest of students in mind (Rothstein, 200; Strickland, 1998). Instead of choosing between a phonics based and a whole language method of teaching reading, educators should use a combination that is specifically tailored to the needs of his/her individual students. This allows the students to use their phonics knowledge within a larger whole language context, eventually instilling in children a desire to read and enabling them to read well. Phonics Phonics is a very systematic approach to teaching reading that involves the breaking down of words into smaller parts. This process is called decoding. It focus... ...ational Leadership, 55(6). 6-10. Retrieved March 7, 2003 from the Web. Willows, D. (2002, January). The Balanced Literary Diet. School Administrator, 59(1). 30-33. Retrieved April 23, 2003 from the Web. Pappano, L. (2001, November 25). Teaching Reading No Longer One-Size Fits All. Boston Globe. Retrieved March 6, 2003 from LexisNexis Academic database. Rothstein, R. (2001, September 5). Consensus in Reading War If Sides Would Only Look. New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2003 from LexisNexis Academic database. Schemo, D.J. (2002, February 9). California Leads Chorus of Sounded-Out Syllables. New York Times. Retrieved March 6, 2003 from LexisNexis Academic database.

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