John Walker: What are the problems with Whole Language and why doesn't it work?

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Debbie_Hepplewhite
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John Walker: What are the problems with Whole Language and why doesn't it work?

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:37 pm

John writes a very straight-forward explanation of why 'whole language' is not helpful for children learning to read:

http://literacyblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016 ... l?spref=tw

What are the problems with Whole Language and why doesn't it work?

So, what is wrong with a Whole Language approach?

The allure of using Whole Language to teach children to read lies mainly in the fact that, as you'd expect, humans are heavily biased towards meaning and a whole word approach has an immediate appeal because, at the beginning, it seems so easy. On the other side of the methodological divide, learning how to recognise letter shapes as representations of sounds is hard work from the start even though it gets easier as learning progresses.

So, what is wrong with a Whole Language approach?


Do read the whole piece - it isn't long!
Meraud
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:45 am

Re: John Walker: What are the problems with Whole Language and why doesn't it work?

Postby Meraud » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:28 pm

Just putting this link here (though Debbie has also put it elsewhere).

https://miscellaneouswitterings.wordpress.com/learning-to-read-before-spelling-became-standardized/

I think it would be useful to try and change the perception of the history of reading a bit: whole language approaches, viewed over the past 2000 years of reading instruction in the West, are a teeny tiny blip.

We should be putting our efforts into looking at how better to integrate SSP knowledge with the teaching of spelling and prosody later on in the curriculum. But energies get used up trying to persuade people of the benefits of teaching the basics!

The schwa has a role in looking at stressed & unstressed syllables; the meaning and history of words/morphemes often relate to the particular GPCs which they contain. The early teaching of strong sound-awareness in reading is potentially a gift for approaches to literary study later on. but how much of the SP explanatory framework, available to teachers now the children know it, will get used?

Sorry. Bee in bonnet :?

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