Term Paper: Language and Phonetics Teaching Methods

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[. . .] This study explored that question as well as the way the readers were reading, be it phonetics of other methods (Huba, 1995).

The language-ability measures were found to be moderately intercorrelated as follows: verbal intelligence and general language development, r =.64, p [less than or equal to].01; verbal intelligence and phonemic segmentation, r =.48, p [less than or equal to].01; general language ability and phonemic segmentation, r =.42, p [less than or equal to].01. Thus, although the language-ability measures share common variance, each appears to measure something unique (Huba, 1995)."

The study did not define any measurable way the children learned to read but did discover that the parent's attitudes toward reading often promoted early reading among these children (Huba, 1995).

Another study did zero in on the actual style and method of learning to read among young children to determine some of the more common methods that were formed in the mind of the child (Awaida, 1995). "A sample of 236 4- to 6-year-olds was tested on reading, spelling, vocabulary, short-term memory, visual discrimination, nonverbal intelligence, phonological processing, and fluency. The children were retested 1 year later. The 5-year-olds' reading quotients were predicted by their phonological processing and visual discrimination scores 1 year earlier. The 6-year-olds' reading quotients were predicted by their previous year's reading quotients, socioeconomic status, phonological processing, and nonword reading scores. The 7-year-olds' reading quotients were predicted by their previous year's reading quotients and nonword reading scores (Awaida, 1995)."

This study determined that learning to read actually involves two connections, the orthography and the meanings of words. "This process has two aspects. On the one hand, connections are made between the letters of a word and the word's meaning. On the other hand, individual letters generate sounds that, when blended together, produce a phonological creation. This creation in turn is connected to the meaning of particular words (Awaida, 1995)." The study determined a very important factor regarding the method of teaching reading through the use of phonetics. It found that while some aspects of phonetics were important there were others such as rhyming that were totally unnecessary to the teaching of the subject of reading.

These and other studies have paved the way for this study. They have provided enough substantial evidence that phonetics as it is taught today is not necessarily the most successful reading teaching method, nor does not discount its use. This study will answer the question as to which method is the most effective. The previous studies lacked a comparison to different methods therefore could only assess each method on its own merit. This study proposes to run a comparison so that the most effective method can be identifies.


The participants will be school administrators from around the nation. Schools will be selected from various socioeconomic groups and from various geographic areas. The schools will all be from elementary level whether that is from K. through five or K. through six. The method used for the study is going to be a survey questionnaire. The survey will ask the school administrators to submit their students' standardized test scores for reading, over the last decade. The survey will also ask what type of method is taught in their institution, phonics, whole language or some other program. When the surveys come in the first 100 that mark the phonetic box, and the first 100 that mark the whole language box, and the first 100 that mark the other box, will be taken for the study results. All others will be set aside for future study if needed. The survey will not only ask for the results of the standardized achievement tests there will be a series of questions for the administrators to answer about the teaching of reading and the attitude and cooperation of students and teachers with the district's chosen method.

The limitations of this study will include the fact that teacher attitudes, home support for students and other factors will affect the outcome regardless of the teaching method being used.

The study will be important to future studies because it will help determine the best method for teaching reading to elementary school students and possibly allow a standardization of methods across the nation so that everybody is on the same page.


This proposed study will pull together the things that previous studies have begun to touch on but have not pulled together. The nation has gone back and forth between teaching methods for reading for several decades. The confusion only adds to the public concern that the elementary school students are not getting a solid education in this country. This study provides a method by which to determine which teaching method provides the best results for the subject of reading.


Nathlie A. Badian, Reading Disability Defined as a Discrepancy Between Listening and Reading Comprehension: A Longitudinal Study of Stability, Gender Differences, and Prevalence. Vol. 32 no, Journal of Learning Disabilities, 03-01-1999

Lockavitch, and Bob Algozzine, Effects of the failure free Reading Program on Students with Severe Reading Disabilities. Vol. 31 no, Journal of Learning Disabilities, 05-01-1998.

Nathlie A. Badian, A Validation of the Role of Preschool Phonological and Orthographic Skills in the Prediction of Reading. Vol. 31 no, Journal of Learning Disabilities, 09-01-1998.

Wagner, R.K., & Torgesen, J.K. (1987). The nature of phonological processing and its causal role in the acquisition of reading skills. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 192-212.

Blachman, B.A. (1994), Relationship of rapid naming ability and language analysis skills to kindergarten and first-grade reading achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 610-622.

Majsterek, David J.-Ellenwood, Audrey E., Phonological awareness and beginning reading: Evaluation of a school-based screening procedure.. Vol. 28, Journal of Learning Disabilities, 09-01-1995, pp 449.

Awaida, May-Beech, John R., Children's lexical and sublexical development while learning to read.. Vol. 63, Journal of Experimental Education, 01-01-1995, pp 97.

Beech, J.R., & Awaida, M. (1992). Lexical and nonlexical routes: A comparison between normally achieving and poor readers. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 25, 196-206.

Huba, George. Humphreys, G.W., & Evett, L.J. (1985). Are there independent lexical and nonlexical routes in word processing? An evaluation of the dual-route theory of reading. Behavioral & Brain Science & 8,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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