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Systematic Phonics


Whole Language

This article presents an overview of the concept of Whole Language, a philosophy of language that was a major part of the reading and writing curriculum from the mid-1970's to the mid-1990's. Whole Language resulted from grass-roots efforts on the part of classroom teachers as they moved to determine a more productive and useful model for teaching reading. For exponents of this way of learning and teaching, the whole of Whole Language has two key meanings. The first meaning defines it as “undivided”; the second meaning defines it as “unified and integrated,” (Bird, 2011). In Whole Language, students are actively involved in the decision-making use of language. In other words, Whole Language is based on teaching strategies and skills that are determined by the needs of the child, a belief that learning is a collaborative experience based upon the interests and engagement of children as individuals (Costello, 2012). Teaching and evaluation strategies common to Whole Language include use of authentic literature, invented spelling, miscue analysis, process writing, and read-alouds.

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