For one-hundred years, Webster's book taught children how to read, spell, and pronounce words. See above for a sampling from a “story” from this series, whose main purpose is to drill sight words. Mann disagreed with phonics-based instruction. Chall spent a few years visiting hundreds of classrooms, analyzing research studies, and examining textbooks and interviewing textbook authors, reading specialists, and teachers. Instead, the Whole Word (top-down) method is reaffirmed as a new model for teaching reading appears. They not only persisted, they accelerated. Few reading teachers are conversant with such essential topics as the, Take a look at the cost in the picture below (copied from an internet advertisement) for a, [4] Arthur Gates, “Studies of Phonetic Training in Beginning Reading,”, [13] Ken Goodman, “Reading: A Psycholinguistic Guessing Game,”, [17] Nicholas Lemann, “The Reading Wars,”, [18] Linnea Ehri, “Grapheme-Phoneme Knowledge is Essential for Learning to Read Words in English” in. With the single exception of England, the landscape for beginning reading instruction worldwide is disheartening: Balanced Literacy, lists of sight words to be memorized, three-cueing, guessing from pictures, guessing from a word’s first letter, guessing what might make sense, invented spellings, reading levels, learning styles, “predictable” books, and, of course, “discovery” learning. These 300 children were then followed for 7 additional years to see if these gains persisted. What the children read initially are repetitive “little books” whose main function is to drill sight words.) Throughout history, reading and writing has been part of people's lives in one way or another. All other aspects of the literate mind depend on this crucial step. The numbers after the quote use the pagination found in the Final Report, available online, “The hallmark of systematic phonics programs is that they delineate a planned, sequential set of phonic elements [letter-sound correspondences] and that they teach these elements explicitly… A key feature that distinguishes systematic phonics instruction from nonsystematic phonics is in the identification of, The Panel states clearly that systematic phonics instruction is not to commence after children are reading by other means, but rather, at the very. The long-existing fear that an initial code emphasis produces readers who do not read for meaning, or with enjoyment, is unfounded. First, it rejects the boring, artificial, and repetitive readers of the Look/Say era, claiming to replace those readers with real children’s stories. Because this report is such a thorough rejection of 25 years of Whole Language methodology, I think it best to allow the Panel members to speak for themselves. Webster thought that Americans should learn from American books, so he wrote a three volume series, A Grammatical Institute of the English Language. Explore our HISTORY. "It is important to note that when PA is taught with letters, According to its advocates, one of the main advantages for using Whole Language to teach beginning readers is that it results in better comprehension than does a phonics approach. The effects of the hornbook, Webster's Blue-Backed Speller, and the New England Primer were opportunities for children to read through a sequence of reading texts. McGuffey then reveals his bias against a strict Word approach: “While McGuffey's Readers are prepared to meet the demands of each of these recognized methods, they are especially adapted to the Phonic Method and to the Combined Word and Phonic Method, which are the two methods most extensively used by successful teachers of primary reading.”. She calls for “a correction in beginning reading instructional methods” and then, speaking of phonics, adds: 1965 – 1975: Another period of transition. Writing in, “That it will be the part of wisdom to curtail phonetic instruction in the first grade very greatly is strongly implied; indeed, it is not improbable, Logically enough, this Whole Word method becomes known as, “Memorizing or guessing the meaning of whole words is not reading; on the contrary, it is an acquired bad habit that stands in the way of your child’s ever learning to read properly… My advice is, teach your child yourself how to read.” [5], “The results are better, not only in terms of the mechanical aspect of literacy alone, but also in terms of the ultimate goals of reading instruction – comprehension and possibly even speed of reading. By the end of the children’s seventh year of primary schooling, the gains made in reading achievement by the children who had been taught synthetic phonics during their first year had increased six-fold, increasing from seven months to three years and six months ahead of chronological age. The Alphabet Method was used from the 1640s till the 1840s.It was used to teach children to read using a 3 step approach. The technology was life-changing because it allowed mass production of books, which allowed people to learn and gain knowledge through literature. Initially these books were widely used as textbooks in most American schools. Finally, an unfamiliar word is to be identified, not by sounding it out, but by “asking somebody what the word is” – or by guessing what the word might be using context or “similarity to words that are already known.” [12]. Phonics programs may teach children, "In the rush to teach phonemic awareness, it is important not to overlook the need to teach letters as well. “Two information processing pathways coexist and supplement each other when we read. I invite you to download an appropriate copy for yourself and to help me spread the word. By the end of the children’s seventh year of primary schooling, the gains made in reading achievement by the children who had been taught synthetic phonics during their first year had increased six-fold, increasing from seven months to three years and six months ahead of chronological age. 1320 Reading has a population of around 1,300. 1955: In a We-Better-Circle-the-Wagons response to the Flesch book, the education establishment and textbook publishers create the International Reading Association (later rebranded as the International Literacy Association). Share’s Self-Teaching Hypothesis and Ehri’s Orthographic Mapping complement each other. Words and meanings were included in his books. In it, Chall, a leading member of the education establishment from Harvard, surveys the scientific studies done on reading from 1912 through 1965. The first book (The Teacher's Word Book) was published in 1921. [Note: my separate blog on the Simple View can be found here.]. So, for example, once the child visually memorizes (as sight words) BAT, BOY, and BOAT, the teacher can call attention to these words and, with some prompting, the child will “discover” that all 3 words start with the same sound (“buh”) and the same letter (B). Developed by Kenneth Goodman and Frank Smith in the 1970’s, Whole Language differs from Look/Say in some fundamental ways. 1900 - 1950. The teacher would pronunce the words to the students and the students were required to memorize and recite readings. Second, phonics, understood as explicit, systematic teaching of the full code, is outright rejected. Introduction For more than a century, reading instruction has been involved in a high-stakes battle between supporters of two opposing methods for teaching a child to read. Around 1440, Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith, invented the Printing Press. Here’s how McGuffey described [1] these methods: “The Word Method teaches a child to recognize words as wholes. Despite its differences with Look/Say, Whole Language is another top-down approach for teaching reading. Last, Dehaene is adamant about using only decodable text in the early stages: “At each step, the words and sentences introduced in class must only include graphemes and phonemes that have already been explicitly taught. History of Reading Education in the U.S. Therefore, B must symbolize the sound “buh.” Once the child knows a sound for all the consonants, her guessing can become more accurate. Many reformers, myself included, are not ready to concede defeat in this century-old battle between top-down and bottom-up instruction. The Printing Press was a screw press that was specially designed to achieve an effective and even transfer of an image/letter to paper. Second, Dehaene’s research makes him an unequivocal proponent of using bottom-up, synthetic phonics to teach a child to read. Because these are both foundational and essential skills for the development of competence in reading, writing and spelling, they must be taught explicitly, systematically, early and well.”. In 1997, Congress approved the creation of a National Reading Panel (NRP) to initiate a national, comprehensive, research-based effort on alternative instructional approaches to reading instruction and to guide the development of … Here is what he says about phonics and about having children memorize sight words: 1983: Jeanne Chall updates her book as well, examining the scientific research done on reading from 1966 through 1981. They not only persisted, they accelerated. It is therefore misguided to pit the intellectual freedom of a child against rigorous drill. I think killing phonics was one of the greatest causes of illiteracy in the country.”, “It would seem that many of the characteristics of direct phonics, such as teaching letter sounds directly, separating the letter sounds from the words, giving practice in blending the sounds, and so forth, are more effective than the less direct procedures used in current analytic phonics programs.” [9]. Both theories are in direct opposition to Whole Language. the alphabet, spelled aloud the syllables in the syllabary (e.g., “ab,” “eb,” “ib,”. ), It may surprise some readers to find out that the battle between various top-down methods and synthetic phonics has been going on since the mid-nineteenth century. The reports from the US and Australia, in recommending only systematic phonics, left the door wide open for top-down forms of phonics (analytic and analogy phonics) to be grafted onto Whole Language. Measuring literacy rates. The gain in spelling was 4.5-fold, improving from seven months to one year and nine months ahead of chronological age. Developed by Kenneth Goodman and Frank Smith in the 1970’s, Whole Language differs from Look/Say in some fundamental ways. to reading instruction in use until about 1820, children first named the letters of. The 3rd reader was much more formal. The teacher would pronunce the words to the students and the students were required to memorize and recite readings. It was Gray who developed the popular Look/Say reading series, Dick and Jane, so heavily criticized by Flesch in Why Johnny Can’t Read. Similar materials are marketed by Heinemann for each of grades K through 6. Reading Instruction Timeline Learning to read for most students is not something that comes naturally. The goal is to have the children memorize the word as having a particular shape or contour, rather than to decode the word based on individual letter sounds. An unknown word in these readers is accompanied by a picture to allow its identification. In 1733, the site of present day Reading was chosen. He believed in the "tabula rasa" theory whereby a student had a mind like a blank sheet with nothing printed initially. RTI helps with reading difficulties which are one of the most common reasons students need intervention support. One starts with the final product (a whole word) and then may (or may not) eventually get down to the phoneme-grapheme level; the other starts with phonemes and graphemes and then builds up to a whole word. Dr. Reid Lyon, head of the NICHD branch that directs reading research, says the research shows that the key to overcoming most reading obstacles in all children is an early exposure to teaching methods that stress the relationships between the sounds of letters, letter combination and words (phonics). By Tim Lambert. The New England Primer was first published in 1687 by printer Benjamin Harris. The reason I don’t like calling this battle “Phonics” versus “Whole Word” is there are several types of phonics that are top-down in their orientation. Instead, they read at a "basic" level or they're functionally illiterate. It was set at the intersection of two great valleys, the east Penn-Lebanon Valley and the Schuylkill river. 1930 – 1965: Whole Word becomes the dominant top-down method for teaching reading in the United States. Three years later, gobsmacked Californians find they are ranked at the very bottom (just behind Mississippi). In the earlier stages of reading, a series of books were designed to teach reading to school aged children. She can use the unknown word's first letter to "get her mouth ready" to say the word. Reading instruction was teacher directed. (2-33), "It is important to note that when PA is taught with letters, it qualifies as phonics instruction. Her studies reveal that it is only when beginning readers can form “complete connections” between all the letters (graphemes) seen in a word’s written form and all the sounds (phonemes) heard in its spoken form, that sight word learning becomes unconscious and automatic – a process she calls orthographic mapping. [2] James Fassett, The New Beacon Primer (New York: Ginn and Company, 1921), 121. He found that the best spelling results were obtained where the phonics method was taught because of how the brain decodes words. Looking back over the 26 years since he published his first book, he criticizes analytic phonics as being “a minimum of phonics, served up in a look-and-say sauce of context clues and guesswork.” [7]. 1986: Reading researchers Philip Gough and William Tunmer propose their Simple View of Reading. One Reviewer Sums It Up! View an interactive timeline showing milestones since the ESEA's passage in 1965. This seems to have been the common method of reading instruction from Classical times through the Middle Ages when a prime purpose of schools was to learn to read Latin. The gain in spelling was 4.5-fold, improving from seven months to one year and nine months ahead of chronological age. Memorize the sounds associated with the alphabet 3. With instructional roots dating back to early common schools (see historical time line), phonics involves The result: Balanced Literacy. 1981: Theodor Geisel (also known as Dr. Seuss), in an interview for Arizona Magazine, discusses how he was limited by his publisher to using 220 specific words from the Dolch List of sight words when he created The Cat in the Hat. It led to consistency in writing, grammar, and spelling (Arthur, 2004). A Timeline of Reading Instruction Since the beginning of recorded history, scholars and educators knew that reading was important. Many states follow California’s lead. Here’s an excerpt: In 1927, a nationally known educator, Dr. Arthur Gates, from Teachers College at Columbia University, joins the Whole Word movement. The reason I don’t like calling this battle “Phonics” versus “Whole Word” is there are several types of phonics that are top-down in their orientation. The model states succinctly: RC = D x LC. Reading goals can develop reading self-concept. The mid to late 20th century brought support to phonics with the help of studies and published books such as Flesch's phonics instruction in "Why Johnny Can't Read and What You Can Do About It and Chall's support of decoding in "Learning to Read the Great Debate". I am not aware of other texts that present research in the field of literacy in a chronological manner. In our own country, we can trace the phonetic approach to reading and spelling back to the very first school text: the New England Primer, published in 1690. The sound is first taught, and then the character which represents it; the spoken word is learned, and then its written and printed form. Through both whole word instruction and phonics, students' skills excelled in spelling and reading. https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/reading. From this point on, reading instruction in England starts to diverge from that of the rest of the English-speaking world. William Holmes McGuffey who planned a series of readers. Most schools, however, stick with the Look/Say method, but they now include teaching a part of the code using “analytic phonics.” This is a top-down form of phonics that can be employed after the child has memorized enough sight words to make it work. 1. (n.d.). (New York: Teachers College Press, 1997), 57. This method pays no attention to elementary sounds and diacritical marks. The results of a seven-year study on the effectiveness of bottom-up synthetic phonics in teaching reading and spelling are published by researchers Rhona Johnston and Joyce Watson. [13] Ken Goodman, “Reading: A Psycholinguistic Guessing Game,” Journal of the Reading Specialist, May (1967): 127. Hornbooks were used to teach reading, followed by Spellers (syllabic phonics methods with the syllabary, analytic phonics .) 1125 Henry I builds Reading Abbey. The Reading Wars cannot, and should not, be over. His dictionaries were based upon the principle of meeting the child's needs. (1995) “Phonological recoding and self-teaching: Sine qua non of reading acquisition,” Cognition, 55, 151-218. [11] Frank Smith, Reading Without Nonsense, 3 ed. 2005: The Clackmannanshire (Scotland) Report. 1981: Rudolf Flesch publishes Why Johnny Still Can’t Read, again condemning the Whole Word method, as well as the analytic phonics that it now includes. Regardless of their social background, children who do not learn this suffer from reading delays.” (p227), “The punch line is quite simple: we know that conversion of letters into sounds is the key stage in reading acquisition. “ob,” “ub,” etc. From work considered by this review, the balance of advantage favors teaching it discretely as the. Noah Webster was an American school teacher. History of Reading Instruction A history of reading instruction, how whole language got started, phonics landmarks, and a timeline showing significant events in the battle between whole language and phonetic reading methods. The History of Reading Instruction Timeline 2000-2006 1990-1999 Research- Continued vocabulary and comprehension New Writing-to-Learn criticisms of No Child Left Behind Student Experience- probably not being asked to use writing to engage in learning getting training in phonemic Medieval Reading. The grade levels ranged from 1st -6th grade. As time progressed, language became more clear, resources became more available and more people began to learn to read and write. Synthetic phonics develops phonemic awareness along with the corresponding letter shapes. Word Method (1840's): Developed by Horace Mann. Reading lessons provide little room for improvisation… The words given to beginning readers must be analyzed letter by letter in order to ensure that they do not contain spelling problems that are beyond the child’s current knowledge.” If teachers do not follow this advice, “it can make children think that reading is arbitrary and not worth studying.” (p230). In Whole Language programs, the emphasis is upon meaning-based reading and writing activities. I remember calling the words with concentration and focus, See Pug run. [16] U.S. Department of Education. According to Goodman, “matching letters with sounds is a flat-earth view of the world, since it rejects modern science about reading and writing and how they develop.” [10] Frank Smith is just as adamant: “Reliance on phonics – or spelling-to-sound correspondence – is dysfunctional in fluent reading and interferes with learning to read.” [11], Third, writing is emphasized at the earliest stages of learning to read, even if it requires, as it must, “invented spelling.” Fourth, learning to read is to be as easy and natural as learning to speak. Many of the teachers using these techniques know little of reading science because they were not exposed to it during their teacher training. He found that the best spelling results were obtained where the phonic method was used. Edward Thorndike composed three different word books to assist teachers with word and reading instruction. Teaching Reading: A History. Conversely, when we are confronted with words that are frequent, or whose pronunciation is exceptional, our reading takes a direct route that first recovers the meaning of the word and then uses the lexical information to recover its pronunciation… Both routes are in constant collaboration and each contributes to the specification of word pronunciation.” (p38). Once children learn 30-50 sight words in this manner, they are given repetitive readers consisting largely of these exact words. What takes its place is called “Balanced Literacy” or “The Balanced Approach.” In the UK, the functional equivalent of Balanced Literacy is called Searchlights. Among other strengths, this is because it teaches children directly what they need to know, i.e. Several programmed reading courses became available between 1960 - 1965: The Teachall Reading course, Steps to Better Reading, The Basal Progressive Choice Reading Program,The Michigan Successive Discrimination Reading Program, and Programmed Reading Books (Smith, 2002, pgs. [17] Nicholas Lemann, “The Reading Wars,” The Atlantic, November 1997, 84. The researcher examined the trends from the 1600s to the present and identified the type of reading instruction she had during first grade. (For a more complete description of all these types of phonics, see, The only bottom-up method that exists is a specific type of phonics called, The two methods are not compatible. by Robert McCole Wilson. Top-down methods stress “meaning” from the start; the bottom-up method stresses knowledge of the code as a necessary condition for reading comprehension. Paper was expensive and scarce so teachers had to be creative. … First, the pronunciation could be computed by application of a set of grapheme–phoneme rules, or letter-sound correspondence rules. When PA training involves teaching students to segment words into phonemes and to select letters for those phonemes, it is the equivalent of teaching students to spell words phonemically, which is another form of phonics instruction. "PA training is more effective when it is taught by having children manipulate letters than when manipulation is limited to speech." The effort is real, but the payoff in independence is immediate when children discover, often with awe, that they can decode words they never learned in class.” (p227), “Performance is best when children are, from the beginning, directly taught the mapping of letters onto speech sounds. Needless, easily avoidable suffering should be an affront to everyone. ), The two methods are not compatible. The first reader introduced children to his ethical code with 55 lessons. Here’s what he says: “The goal of reading instruction is clear. It’s a passionate (and polemic) plea for the elimination of Whole Word memorization and guessing, and for a return to phonics. 1900 – 1930: A transitional period. However, the process of learning to read is complex and builds on cognitive, linguistic, and social skills developed from a very early age. Here, then, is a short history of reading instruction from the viewpoint of one (somewhat biased) observer. [3] Edmund Huey, The Psychology and Pedagogy of Reading (1908; reprint, Cambridge: M.I.T. View Timeline. When words are regular, rare, or novel, we preferentially process them using a ‘phonological route,’ in which we first convert the letter string into a pronunciation, and then attempt to access the meaning of the sound pattern (if any). In the 1500s the Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives emphasized the value of practice, the need to tap student interes… The numbers after the quote use the pagination found in the Final Report, available online here. They found that phonics was more effective in teaching children to read and spell than the whole word method. The synthetic-phonics-taught group also read irregular words better than the other groups and was the only group that could read unfamiliar words by analogy. Pioneer & civil rights activist, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, becoming the first African American in professional baseball. 1967: Jeanne Chall’s book, Learning to Read: The Great Debate is published. Given the resources available online, any reading teacher or parent wishing to educate him or herself can, with some effort, do so. According to its advocates, one of the main advantages for using Whole Language to teach beginning readers is that it results in better comprehension than does a phonics approach. Alternatively, the pronunciation may be determined by searching long-term memory for stored information about how to pronounce familiar letter sequences, obtaining the necessary information by a direct dictionary look-up, instead of rule application. Here is an early expression of the theory by researchers Ken Forster and Susan Chambers: Note: In the 80s, 90s, and 00s, this theory will be further refined by reading researchers Max Coltheart, Mark Seidenberg, and James McClelland, leading (by 2005) to general acceptance of Coltheart’s Dual-Route Cascaded (DRC) model of word recognition. Me spread the word method becomes known as Look/Say 's word book ) was in. ( top-down ) method is the beautifully illustrated dick and Jane were popular basal readers with only one page it! 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