ERIC Number: ED245559
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr-14
Reference Count: 0
The Teacher's Role in Natural Literacy Acquisition.
Curtis, Jan K.
A case is presented for a major overhaul in the language arts curriculum, based on the idea that traditional teaching methods, especially in reading and writing, that do not take into account children's natural tendency to make sense of their world and to base new learning on what they already know, are ineffective or even inhibitive of literacy acquisition. It is argued that instruction by presentation of small, discrete bits of information in isolated lessons unrelated to the authentic functions of language should be replaced by a classroom situation conducive to exploration and discovery and activities in which children can use problem-solving abilities to discover reading and writing. Current practices in reading and writing instruction are described and their effectiveness for both the general student population and for students "at risk" is criticized. Research and theory on the development of literacy are reviewed, and some parallels between that process and the acquisition of oral language are drawn. Finally, a different orientation toward literacy in the primary classroom, based on the application of certain language acquisition principles, is proposed and examples of learning activities consistent with current language acquisition research conclusions are provided. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (San Jose, CA, April 13-15, 1984).