Learning to Read Methods

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Learning to read is one of the most essential skills a child will master. Reading is the foundation of a child's educational future. The success of one's career and education is dependent upon their reading ability. Without the ability a read, a person cannot enjoy all this world has to offer, such as reading about world history, driving a car, reading a letter from a friend, or learning a new language. Reading unlocks doors that would otherwise be locked forever. In recent years there has been a great deal of debate on the methods used to teach our children how to read; parents and teachers need to determine whether the whole language, phonics or a combination of both methods is the most adequate approach for teaching their children to read. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet first developed the whole language method in the early 1800s. Whole language is just a new name for what was once called the "whole-word", or "look and say" methods. It is the same method just a new name. The method was originally developed for deaf mutes because they are completely unaware of phonetic sounds for letters (Sutton). The whole language method teaches children how to read with complete words, rather than breaking them into parts or syllables. Children are repeatedly drilled with simple words until they can recognize them by sight, and then they are introduced to more complicated words (Ronayne). The whole language approach is considered more creative and interesting for a child who is eager to learn. In a whole language learning environment the teacher would read aloud or tell stories more often than in a phonetic learning environment. You may also see more charts with simple directions written on them in a classroom that teaches the whole language approach. This is to ensure the children's engagement with the materials while providing a creative reading approach. Children are also given more opportunity to go off and read books to the best of their ability. Allowing the children to...
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