Friday, November 28, 2008

New Take on an Old Argument

After years of watching and wishing for whole language reading philosophy to rise in triumphant success over the other methodologies of teaching reading - in particular the evil phonics. I found myself astonished by a nonpartisan report out of New York University on how different reading styles effect reading speeds.

Processes Add Up To Determine Reading Speed, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from /releases/2007/08/070801091500.htm

I would be interested in seeing a comparison of the three system of reading with a dyslexic population. I would suspect that whole language would test higher, but the tests would kill the dyslexic test subjects. Far as I can tell both whole language and word recognition systems seem to suffer from a lack of profit motive in pushing there particular philosophies. Phonics seems to have no shortage of companies making money off of it’s success to such an extent that many of the studies proving it’s success seem a little too well funded. I suspect that reading is like many other skills; those who are exposed to it do it and those that are not exposed to it don’t.

In the mean time, I must admit that perhaps phonics has a greater role to play then I as a non-phonic dyslexic reader care to admit. Or perhaps the greater reliance in this New York University study on phonics in the participants is a reflection of focus on this method of reading in American Schools for the better part of half a century.

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