Phonics vs Whole Language

1799 words 8 pages
To use Phonics or Whole Language? That is the Question There is a battle going on elementary schools across the Globe. This battle is not a malicious battle fought with armies and weapons of mass destruction, but rather a tactical battle where the two opponents are known to us by the simple phrases, phonics and whole language. These two opponents use very different styles, but those who use a certain style swear by it almost religiously. Seriously, though, one might be asking the question which is the best method for teachings young students how to read? Honestly, there is not a simple answer; education specialists have been arguing over the issue of phonics vs whole language for years and a definite answer still has yet to be …show more content…

One thing many educators appreciate about whole language is that students are given a sense of freedom. To further enhance this freedom a lot of the time teachers will allow students to pick children's books that they want to read (Collins 4). Obviously the teacher will carefully select a group of books he or she finds appropriate for the students' reading level, then allow the students to choose from this group. When reading these books the students are encouraged to be fearless readers and to not be afraid to take risks when reading ( Brooks, Melanie 274). Students are also encouraged to make use of the reading strategies listed in the above paragraph if they are struggling to read a word. The guessing strategy in particular is probably the most important strategy for students learning to read using whole language. If a student learns how to use the guessing strategy effectively he or she will be a more fluent reader. When this strategy is implemented properly the student will gain the ability to assume which word will follow certain words in a sentence, which will lead to more flow and comprehension (274-75). Finally, the best part about whole language is that after the students are done reading their books they can ask or write out questions about them and also discuss them. These are all enjoyable activities which give the students a sense of freedom, but also are teaching them literacy at the same