Essay on Phonics vs. Whole Language

2109 Words9 Pages
Phonics vs. Whole Language

What is the best method for teaching children to read? This is probably not something that a lot of people think about on a regular basis. However, I think it is very important to discuss the ways in which children learn to read. Reading has become a very important element in our society. With the rapid advancement of America, having good reading skills is essential to getting ahead in jobs and even in making dinner. Children are the future doctors, lawyers, and presidents of our country and I, as a future teacher, wouldn’t want to send children out into the world with poor reading skills. I also think it is important to discuss reading methods because I see, after doing an interview with a
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When I decided to use reading as my research topic, I thought I could take on the whole concept of reading, but I soon learned that reading is a complex subject that has many methods. According to the International Reading Association, “A reading method is a set of teaching and learning materials and / or activities often given a label, such as phonics method, literature based method, or language experience method” (“Using Multiple Methods”).

This definition shows that many practices for reading can be called reading method. From the aforementioned reading methods definition and from doing a small amount of research, I decided I would narrow the focus of my research paper to the reading methods of whole language and phonics. I chose to focus on the concepts of whole language and phonics because for many years they have been among the most popular reading methods and because of the ongoing debate surrounding which method is better than the other -- a debate which has caused a constant push - pull trend in these methods. For a while it will pull towards whole language, but then the trend switches to focus on phonics (the current trend). After more research on the concepts of whole language and phonics, I came to believe that this debate between methods the debate between whole language and phonics is an artificial dilemma, and isn’t really about one method or the other when both methods could be combined.
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