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Andrea Krasne & Crystal Gomez ED 7201.1T: Fall 2010 Dr. O’Connor-Petruso Wiki Assignment #2—Due 10/5/10 Baumann, J.F., et al. (May, 1998). Where are teachers’ voices in the phonics/whole language debate? Results from a survey of U.S. elementary classroom teachers. The Reading Teacher, 51(8), 636-650. Bruneau, B.J. (1997). Early Childhood: The Literacy Pyramid organization of reading/writing activities in a whole language classroom. The Reading Teacher, 51(2), 158-160. In the current debate over literacy instruction, Burneau supports the implementation of the balanced literacy approach to instruction, enforcing the concept of linking literature to prior knowledge. With the development of the literacy pyramid, the fundamentals of balanced literacy are in the form of an outline to help teachers understand how to implement the eight stages of balanced literacy that effectively teaches emerging readers. The uppermost, least necessary section of the pyramid, the skills section, where phonics, spelling and mechanics of the language may be taught, should be done in moderation. Burneau believes that teachers need to learn how to structure their literacy instruction, and also believes that when students are taught skills, they should be done in an implicit manner to be most effective. Carbo, M. (November ,1988). Debunking the great phonics myth. The Phi Delta Kappan, 70(3), 226-240. Campbell, P., Rakes, S., & Shafffer, G.L. (Fall, 2000). Investigating the status and perceived importance of explicit phonics instruction in elementary classroom teachers. The Reading Teacher, 51(8), 636-650. Two hundred and eight elementary classroom teachers were administered a survey with questions ranging from the importance of phonics instruction to the amount of professional development they need to appropriately teach a systematic phonics program. While there are still several teachers who view phonics to be an enemy in their classroom, they are very clearly the minority. Most teachers viewed phonics as an important part of the skills to be an effective independent reader. Interestingly, many agreed that in the beginning years it might be most beneficial to implement an explicit phonics instructional program for emergent readers. Many teachers have introduced some phonics or phonemic awareness activities to their classrooms while they move to a more balanced literacy program. Interestingly, almost all teachers who participated in this survey felt that they were lacking in professional development about phonics instruction and agreed that they would implement it if they had better training. Ehri, L.C., et al. (Autumn, 2001). Systematic phonics instruction helps students learn to read: Evidence from the national reading panel’s meta-analysis. Review of Education Research, 71(3), 393-447. The main purpose of literacy instruction, according to this article, is to facilitate children in their journey to learn how to master the battle of the English written language. Although students come into our public school systems with an awareness of the spoken language, often they lack the ability or knowledge to link the spoken language to the written language. According to this article this is where the importance of a phonics instructional program lies. Phonics instruction teaches young readers the alphabetic code that aids in the pronunciation and fluency of the reader. According to this article, there is a plethora of research stating that systematic explicit phonics instruction is more effective then context based, or immersion strategies. Systematic phonics instructional programs should be implemented as a part of a balanced-literacy approach. What this article begins to examine are the many different environments, scenarios and implementation strategies that have baring effects on the effectiveness and successes of a phonics instructional program. Reading is the most important and the cornerstone outcome of any literacy program, but the true ability to read and understand as a result of the literacy program is being examined. The key approaches to systematic phonics instruction are: synthetic phonics, analytic phonics, embedded phonics, analogy phonics, onset-rime phonics, and phonics through spelling. These phonics instructional approaches have recently been combating the whole-language approach that teaches students the meaning of words and the ability to read through context and immersion in literature. Freppon, P.A., & Dahl, K.L. (1998). Balanced instruction: Insights and considerations. Reading Research Quarterly, 33(2), 240-251. Dating back to the state of California’s reading crisis in 1994, this article addresses the need for a successful balanced literacy program in elementary schools. Through countless arguments over whether implicit and explicit phonics instruction should be included in a balanced literacy program, this argument was looked at with little importance. Interviews with local teachers and research from major theorists provided the basic problems with literacy in America and categorizing the problem as such: classroom size is exceeding limits that make learning to read conducive, multilingual and multicultural students pose potential problems in helping students make connections with different texts and many new and past teachers are not given professional development on how to teach reading which in turn makes students success rates decline. Many different theories and perspectives on this topic were covered throughout the article but the many agree that the implementation of the reading strategies in a balanced classroom is what makes student’s progress, not the use of phonics or the lack thereof. Interviews with exemplary educators from Georgia and New York demonstrate that teachers need to find a balanced literacy approach that works in their classrooms. Students sometimes need explicit phonics instruction, but teachers should also find rich text that reinforces the skills taught. Teachers must also scaffold their lessons to suit the needs of their individual student population. Research does not support one balanced literacy instructional program that will work for every student population. Griffith, P.L., & Mesmer, H.A.E. (December, 2005 - January, 2006). Everybody’s selling it: But just what is explicit, systematic phonics instruction? The Reading Teacher, 59(4), 366-376. This article simplifies the definition of phonics into two main definitions. The most basic meaning of phonics refers to the encoding of speech sounds from written symbols. But, as we know phonics is related to the field of education, the meaning of phonics for educators can be said to be the teaching of the relationship of letters to sounds. Phonics plays a necessary role in the emergent reading process, because it unlocks the code to the English language. This article breaks down the four different instructional methodologies for incorporating phonics instruction into a reading program to help students learn to acquire the sound symbol relationship, associate letter sounds to create words and hold on to phonemic awareness as a reading strategy to improve fluency. The four instructional methodologies are explicit, implicit/imbedded, systematic and intrinsic/holistic. Each of these programs was designed to aid emergent readers. An explicit or systematic phonics instructional program allows the teacher to design a curriculum that specifically identifies and targets skills related to decoding, sound letter association, phonemic awareness and fluency. The implications and results of each of these programs vary and are dependent on the instructor. This article provides results from a teacher completed survey about what type of instructional strategy they were implementing and gave them an opportunity to voice their opinions towards incorporating a phonics instructional methodology in their classrooms. Approximately 50% of the surveyed teachers favored an explicit and systematic phonics program. Lapp, D., & Flood, J. (May, 1997). Point-Counterpoint: Where’s the phonics? Making the case (again) for integrated code instruction. The Reading Teacher, 50(8), 696-700. This article poses the case that systematic phonics instruction, as well as code instruction is only as good as the teacher teaching it, and it does not need a separate instructional period. Systematic phonics instruction embraces many instructional strategies with the goal to help children read better and attend to word parts, but does not need to happen explicitly to be effective. Much of the pressure being put on educators about teaching phonics explicitly is coming from the media, parents, and legislators but this argument has no real backbone of data to prove its superior results. If teachers were appropriately preparing their literacy lessons to incorporate work attack strategies, stopping to recognize instructional opportunities for sight words, there would be no need for explicit phonics instruction. While many students learn to read, and appreciate literacy in different ways, they still need guidance in breaking the code of the written language. Children’s exposure to great literature enables them to experience new words and new ways of thinking. McKenna, M.C., Robinson, R.D., & Miller, J.D. (1990) Whole language: A research agenda for the nineties. Educational Researcher, 19(8), 3-6. Many theorists who believe that reading ability is obtained in the same manner that oral language is obtained support the argument for whole language reading instruction. Whole language theorists support a child-centered learning environment in early childhood classrooms and argue that traditional reading instruction is ineffective. The traditional reading approach is concept driven where phonics skills are taught in isolation, which should be deemphasized if educators were to model how oral language is initially obtained. With an unclear definition of whole language it is hard to assess the effectiveness of a whole language program. Haste said that test reforms are in favor of traditionalist reading programs and in order to test the results of a whole language basis, these standardized tests need to be altered to allow a new reading strategies effectiveness to be tested. Standardized tests should be given in the form of whole text without time constraints. With little research conducted on the topic of whole language, a great emphasis on longitudinal studies must be conducted, where theorists must study the effects of whole language programs in many different classrooms. Studies should assess individual success in whole language versus the traditionalist form of reading instruction to understand what program provides the greatest level of effectiveness. Goodman, K.S. (November, 1989). Whole-language research: Foundations and development. The Elementary School Journal, 90(2), 207-221. Pressley, M., Rankin, J., & Yokoi, L. (March, 1996). A survey of instructional practices of primary teachers nominated as effective in promoting literacy. The Elementary School Journal, 96(4), 363-384. Participants in a survey regarding effective literacy instructional approaches included nominated teachers who taught for at least three years in kindergartn through second grade. Through a questionnaire, teachers were asked what reading practices were most effective for students in each of the subsequent grade levels. The survey revealed that 54% of the teachers were considered fully whole language educators, while the remaining 43% believed that they were somewhat whole language educators. The research revealed that these educators supported a traditional approach to reading instruction, which included basal readers, round robin and spelling tests for assessment. A majority of the educators supported rich literature immersion in their classrooms with an emphasis on implicit phonics instruction, only focusing on explicit skills with struggling readers through meaningful text. Most educators focused on context clues to teach decoding, which resulted in 95% of the teachers incorporating explicit phonics but not in isolation. In conclusion, the research shows that most educators support the whole-language classroom environment because it promotes comprehension and skill building strategies. Through rich literature immersion, students learn phonics skills in a meaningful manner that will increase their reading ability as they increase in grade level. Stahl, S.A. (April, 1992). Saying the “p” word: Nine guidelines for exemplary phonics instruction. The Reading Teacher, 45(8), 618-625. Phonics is like beauty; the meaning is in the eye of the beholder. This article makes the case that phonics has a bad reputation because of its instructional approaches. Phonics does not have to mean stacks of worksheets and mindless filling in the blanks. Phonics should imply the list of skills that must e mastered to become a fluent reader. The true meaning of phonics should be reminded to those who hear the word and think it’s a dirty work. Phonics refers to various approaches designed to teach children about the code of the language and the relationships, spelling patterns and sound patterns of our language. Students, no matter what type of literacy program their instructor is employing, must learn about the letter-sound correspondence as part of learning to read. The argument here is that phonics instruction needs to follow a set of guidelines to be considered exemplary and effective. The focus of phonics instruction should be on learning to read words and not memorizing rules. The politics behind phonics are rooted in the confusion about what phonics instruction truly entails. Taylor, B.M., Pearson, P.D., Clark, K., & Walpole, S. (November, 2000). Effective schools and accomplished teachers: Lessons about primary-grade reading instruction in low- income schools. The Elementary School Journal, 101(2), 121-165. Turner, R.L. (December, 1989). The ‘great’ debate—Can Carbo and Chall be right? The Phi Delta Kappan, 71(4), 276-283. Research was conducted in 9 different test groups from 1923-1972, testing systematic phonics instruction along with the whole-word approach. Through these multiple approaches, most of the researchers concluded that the phonics instructional approach showed a significant increase in reading ability from the middle of first grade to the end of second, then both systems of instruction from grades three to five demonstrated equal expectations. Turner supports Chall’s theory that systematic phonics instruction serves as a basis for better reading ability for students at the end of the first grade. In terms of vocabulary acquisition, Turner supports Carbo because studies showed that students reading comprehension was advanced by intrinsic phonics instruction through the whole- language program and outperformed the phonics group. Turner supports the whole-word approach to reading because it promotes a larger vocabulary base and improves comprehension. He feels that phonics instruction only improves reading ability for students in the first grade and beyond that point students begin to lack a large vocabulary base and struggle in comprehension. Turner supports the whole-word approach to teaching reading because phonics does not influence literacy development.
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