ERIC Number: ED319017
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov-3
Reference Count: N/A
From Basic Skills to Whole Language in Reading Instruction: Can We Get There from Here?
Reading instruction based on the acquisition of basic skills has produced a basic level of literacy in children, but such minimal levels of literacy are no longer sufficient for students required to deal effectively with complicated literary and informational material encountered in upper elementary, middle, and high school texts. Research in the cognitive processes of readers has produced models of the reading process that show reading as a search for meaning in which the readers bring their experiential background and their language systems to their understanding of the author's message. Recognizing the limitations of basic skills instruction, school systems across the nation are implementing a shift in both instruction and materials to the whole language approach. In short, whole language reading instruction begins in the mind of the reader, not with the letters on the page. Using a "top-down" or transactive/interactive approach, teachers should use meaningful, predictable stories and ask literal and interpretive level questions, involving children in comprehension strategies. Reading should not be taught as a fragmented series of subskills, because real language does not exist in isolated bits and pieces. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators (36th, San Antonio, TX, November 2-4, 1989).