The Meaning of Whole Language Whole language is a method of teaching reading in which reading in combined with listening, speaking and writing practice. Background * The Whole Language was found by BERGERON (1990). * The Whole Language movement argues that language should be taught as a “whole”. * The Whole Language was created in the 1980’s by a group of U.S. Educators.
The Theoretical Basis and Principles of the Whole Language
Theoretical Basis ~ The teacher should guide the students to study every part of the passage and the relationships among the parts. The Basis Principles ~ Language teaching should begin with dealing with the whole and then transit to the parts gradually. ~ The students communicate with each other and exchange ideas in the language they learn. ~ The teacher should direct the students to use the language with positive aims.
The Application of the Whole Language Theory to the Teaching of English Reading.
1. Teaching the Language as a Whole The teaching emphasis lies on the meaningful whole language activities. 2. Student-Centeredness The teacher can ask the students to discuss the text in groups. 3. Teaching Language in Context The teacher can ask the students to create and design the situational context and do some writing. 4. Literature-basedness Teaching the broad-sense of “literature” regarded as inappropriate. 5. Focus on Talk Teaching emphasizes the ability of oral expression, the ability of communication, the ability of thinking and the ability of analysis. 6. Integration with Writing The teacher encourages the students to write frequently on the text they learn. 7. Informal Assessment They observe the behavior of the students in class.
The Characteristics of Whole Language Classroom
~ Classroom are not silent ~ Classroom feature learning centers for reading, writing, art, music, science and social studies. ~ Books, magazines, newspapers, maps, pamphlets, etc, abound. ~ Listening stations with tape recorders and audio materials are prominent. ~ Children’s writing, art and other projects receive center stages. ~ Lessons are active and varied.
The Advantages and Disadvantages Theory of Whole Language
The Advantages ~ Easier and more possible for the students to understand the whole text. ~ It blends the practices of listening, speaking, reading and writing into an organic unity. It adopts informal assessment The Disadvantages ~ The teaching of grammatical rules lack systematization. ~ The word spelling and pronunciation rules are important links in the reading ability, but the whole language theory pays little attention to them.