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ERIC Number: ED364830
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Dec
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Whole Language Instruction: An Update and a Reappraisal.
Stahl, Steven A.; And Others
A study reviewed the effects of the whole language movement. Two forms of analysis were used: meta-analysis, and a simple "vote-counting" procedure. Quantitative studies that compared a whole language and a traditional (or basal reading) approach, published between 1988 and 1993, were selected for analysis. A total of 45 studies were identified, but statistical tests were not conducted since only 14 of the studies reported numerical data. Results indicated that: (1) goals of research shifted from achievement to attitude; (2) researchers used several different types of reading comprehension measures; (3) a number of studies used a variety of isolated word measures, another group of studies examined the effects of whole language on decoding measures; (4) the usefulness of whole language instruction seems well established; (5) no significant effects were found on attitude measures; (6) younger students tended to focus on reading as decoding, and older readers defined reading as meaning-making; and (7) Reading Recovery, literature discussion groups, and supplemental literature programs are similar to whole language but differ in one or more significant respects. Findings suggest that: whole language approach has a small positive effect on reading comprehension; explicit phonics instruction might not be out of place in a whole language program; an emphasis on challenging students to read and learn from more complex materials is important; open-ended tasks should be emulated in all reading classes; and the use of quality literature is important. (Contains 106 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Educational Issues
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (43rd, Charleston, SC, December 1-4, 1993).