ERIC Number: ED315746
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Feb-1
Reference Count: N/A
Whole Language: Looking for Balance among Dichotomies.
Hillerich, Robert L.
Like so many slogans, "Whole Language" is a dangerous term because its meaning varies with each educator. Whole Language is not a method of teaching, nor is it a program; it is a philosophy or viewpoint. Nine major characteristics of a Whole Language approach as culled from a variety of sources, with most agreed upon by a majority of authors, are: (1) fun in reading; (2) oral language as a bridge to print; (3) risk taking; (4) use of rich literature; (5) developmental versus preconceived sequence; (6) integrating the language arts; (7) reading whole texts versus excerpts; (8) meaningful use of language versus isolated drill; and (9) reading is a natural act. While bits and pieces of method associated with the philosophy have been supported by research, little research has been done on the total. Educators are obviously in a state of flux. Educators must make every effort to ensure that the effective elements are here to stay, especially: the encouragement to modify curriculum to fit kids instead of trying to fit kids into preconceived molds; the emphasis on children doing a lot more real reading and writing; and the practice of children doing both reading and writing as communicative acts rather than devoting the majority of time to skill exercises. If children are to become independent readers, the skills they do learn need to be used in real reading. Educators need to recognize that both skill and interest are essential. (Thirty-four references are attached.) (MG)
Descriptors: Basal Reading, Childrens Literature, Educational Philosophy, Integrated Curriculum, Language Acquisition, Language Arts, Primary Education, Reading Instruction, Reading Material Selection, Reading Programs, Reading Teachers, Reading Writing Relationship, Theory Practice Relationship, Whole Language Approach
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A