The whole language - Phonics controversy: An historical perspective

Hempenstall, K 2005, 'The whole language - Phonics controversy: An historical perspective', Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, vol. 10, no. 3/4, pp. 19-33.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The whole language - Phonics controversy: An historical perspective
Author(s) Hempenstall, K
Year 2005
Journal name Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities
Volume number 10
Issue number 3/4
Start page 19
End page 33
Total pages 14
Publisher Learning Difficulties Australia
Abstract Over the past twenty years, there has been considerable controversy over the competing emphases to beginning reading known as Whole Language and phonics. To provide a context for the debate, this paper examines the history of disputes about reading instruction, particularly as it applies to at-risk students. It commences with a brief discussion of the advantages and challenges of our English alphabetic writing system, and of the literacy issues associated with it. Identification of the major attempts to deal with the complexity of our writing system is followed by a history of the search for the most efficacious means of evincing reading development. An examination of early research efforts, such as 'The Great Debate', 'The USOE Study', 'Follow Through', and 'Becoming a Nation of Readers' helps illuminate the current debate by highlighting which issues are novel, and which are from the past but as yet unresolved. A thread throughout the paper involves the role of educational research in influencing practice in beginning reading instruction.
Subject Learning Sciences
Copyright notice ©2006 Learning Difficulties Australia
ISSN 1324-8928
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