Balance Literacy vs. Whole Language

866 WordsJul 27, 20054 Pages
Whole language is considered a "top down" approach where the reader constructs a personal meaning for a text based on using their prior knowledge to interpret the meaning of what they are reading. Teachers are expected to provide a literacy rich environment for their students and to combine speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Whole language teachers emphasize the meaning of texts over the sounds of letters, and phonics instruction becomes just one component of the whole language classroom. Problems associated with whole language include a lack of structure that has been traditionally supplied by the scope and sequence, lessons and activities, and extensive graded literature found in basal readers. Whole language puts a heavy burden…show more content…
Children can learn to assemble phonemes into words as well as break words into their phonemes even before they are writing letters or words. Giving children experience with rhyming words in the preschool years is an effective first step toward building phonemic awareness. Hearing rhymes, and then producing rhymes for given words, requires children to focus on the sounds inside words. Children's phonemic awareness, their understanding that spoken words can be divided into separate sounds, is one of the best predictors of their success in learning to read. · Read alphabet books to and with children and make alphabet books together. · Discuss words and make lists, word banks, or books of words that share interesting spelling/sound patterns. · Discuss similar sounds and letter/sound patterns in children's names. · Emphasize selected letter/sound relationships while writing with, for, or in front of children. · Encourage children to play with magnetic letters and to explore letter/sound relations. · Help children write the sounds they hear in words, once they have begun to hear some separate sounds. Emergent literacy refers to "the reading and writing behaviors that precede and develop into conventional literacy. Emergent literacy is concerned with the earliest phases of literacy development, the period between birth and the time when children read and write conventionally. The term emergent literacy signals a belief that, in a literate society, young
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