Phonics vs Whole Language Essay

1813 WordsOct 30, 20068 Pages
To use Phonics or Whole Language? That is the Question There is a battle going on elementary schools across the Globe. This battle is not a malicious battle fought with armies and weapons of mass destruction, but rather a tactical battle where the two opponents are known to us by the simple phrases, phonics and whole language. These two opponents use very different styles, but those who use a certain style swear by it almost religiously. Seriously, though, one might be asking the question which is the best method for teachings young students how to read? Honestly, there is not a simple answer; education specialists have been arguing over the issue of phonics vs whole language for years and a definite answer still has yet to be…show more content…
Those who oppose phonics also feel that the drills and texts used to teach phonics bore students which just increases to their lack of comprehension. At a certain age, students need to focus more on reading for meaning and enjoyment, but the method of phonics does not focus on incorporating these two areas. However, the second method being discussed in this paper, the whole language approach, focuses much of its attention on making sure the student understands and enjoys what he or she is reading. Whole language instruction occurs when a student acquires language rather than learning it through direct instruction (Brooks 35-36). This method is more child centered than teacher dominated, because the objective is for the student to learn how to read through talking and doing rather than through passive listening. Unlike phonics, whole language uses a variety of ways to give students the opportunity to interact with the text they are reading. Questioning, discussing, problem-solving, listening, writing, drawing, and dramatizing are among the ways students interact with text. Students are also encouraged to implement simple strategies while reading such as: reading the sentence and guessing what word will come next, looking at the picture on the page to help figure out the sentence, and also rereading the sentence for clarification. This method also does a good job in allowing the students to engage in text at their own speed and often in their own ways (36).
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