ERIC Number: ED284169
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr-24
Reference Count: 0
The Efficacy of Whole Word and Phonic Approaches to Beginning Reading Instruction with Readers of Varying Word Learning Proficiencies.
Doyle, Mary Anne
A study examined the relationship between reading instruction method, sex of learner, word learning proficiency and reading achievement in the first grade. Subjects were 78 males and 88 females chosen from two white, middle class suburban schools, one having a sight vocabulary instruction program, the other a phonic basal program. Students were classified by the Word Learning Tasks (WLT) proficiency test at the beginning of first grade and tested for reading achievement at the end of first grade. ANOVA and MANOVA analyses revealed significant effects for WLT proficiency, program of instruction, and gender. The high phonic-high sight (HPHS) proficiency group scored highest on all measures of reading, the low phonic-low sight (LPLS) group lowest, and those with mixed proficiencies scored between the two extreme groups. As expected, girls demonstrated greater achievement than boys, regardless of program or WLT proficiencies. HPHS readers in the sight program had the highest mean scores; in all other instances the phonic program produced higher reading achievement scores on all subtests for readers of all WLT proficiency levels. The results suggest that (1) phonics instruction is beneficial regardless of learner WLT proficiencies; (2) as expected, students entering a new task with high levels of task-specific readiness will demonstrate greatest achievement; (3) a high proficiency in either word learning task contributes in some way to successful performance in beginning reading regardless of program of instruction. (JG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, DC, April 20-24, 1987).