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ERIC Number: ED413583
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Phonics and Whole Language: Friends or Foes?
Raven, Jennifer N.
Most educators agree that an approach balanced between phonics and whole language is the best method of teaching beginning readers. Marie Carbo (1996) discusses the importance of focusing on a balanced approach to reading, because different students have different learning styles. Children who learn best with phonics instruction have analytic and auditory reading styles. Students who benefit most from the whole language program have visual, tactile, and global reading styles. Regie Routman, a strong advocate of the whole language approach, (1997) discusses the misinterpretation of teaching reading with the whole language approach. Whole language promotes phonics instruction in the context of real and predictable literature. A literature based reading program does not necessarily exclude phonics skills. It is generally accepted that phonics play a valuable part in any reading program. But even proponents of phonics agree that rote memorization and skills worksheets are boring to students, and, therefore, detrimental if given too much emphasis. Both approaches should be incorporated into reading instruction. The three stages of reading acquisition are (1) a selective cue stage, (2) a spelling-sound stage; and (3) an automatic stage. It is when students reach the spelling-sound stage that phonics instruction is crucial. Phonics skills, however, should be incorporated within a whole language program, which includes rich and exciting literature, so that students will develop a true love of the written word. (Contains seven references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A