Friday, October 1, 2010

Topic: A Theory about Language Experience.

10-second review: Students who speak a different English dialect (non-standard) will have success in learning to read with language experience in which students dictate stories, the stories are recorded and the children read them back.

Title: “Initial Reading experiences for Linguistically Diverse Learners.” TE Wheat, et al. Reading Teacher (October 1979), 28-31.

The Problem:
Quote: “a major concern among educators, linguists, parents, and society at large is why many children who speak so-called nonstandard dialects have difficulty learning to read. A great deal has been written concerning children’s language differences and possible effect on academic performance. The tendency in the past was to indict the child with a divergent dialect as one who spoke incorrectly. It was felt that non-standard dialects were inferior English.”

Quote: “Most children come to school speaking language which differs from that found in published reading materials.”

A Possible Solution:
Quote: “While there is no one universally accepted approach for teaching reading to linguistically diverse learners, the language experience approach appears to be most sensible Since this approach capitalizes on the child’s language competence and experiences, interest and motivation will exist. With these factors present, success in reading is likely. Because the child’s language and experiences are respected, self-image is strengthened. The child’s sense of worth is also enhanced by success in learning to read.”

Comment: Language experience, while an attractive supplement, is not enough to teach the child, any child, to read. A systematic program in phonics, high-frequency words not susceptible to phonics, vocabulary development, comprehension and fluency is also needed. RayS.

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