[AAACE-NLA] Public Understanding of Literacy
tsticht at znet.com
Fri Jul 23 22:03:21 EDT 2004
George said, "Tom (and others), "In terms of current theories, would whole
language reading theory, balanced (or integrated) reading theory, and
phonemic-based (not sure what to call it) reading theory define the range
of current reading theory, at least in broad terms?
On the reading
theories, is there a theory that cannot be subsumed within the three
theories mentioned above?"
Answer: In Sticht, T & James, J. (1984). Listening and Reading. In P. D.
Pearson et al (Eds.). Handbook of Reading Research. New York: Longmans.
(pp.293-317) we identified three theoretical positions called the code
(what George is calling the phonemic-based I guess), meaning (Georges
whole language I surmise), and psycholinguistic (a position formulated by
Ken Goodman but not included in Georges theory typology) positions. We
demonstrate that all three are actually based on the same underlying
theoretical concept of reading as a second signaling system for listening,
a position expressly given by Charles Fries in 1963 in his linguistic
theory of reading and earlier by Edmund Huey in 1908 in his classic The
Psychology and Pedagogy of reading. It is therefore inappropriate to call
the code, meaning, and psycholinguistic positions different theories since
they all subscribe to the same fundamental notion that reading and
listening build upon a common language and knowledge base.
Mostly the whole language and code positions, including the balanced
approach that draws upon these same two positions, are statements about
the sequence to follow in teaching people to read. But they are not
different theories of reading per se.
The Sticht & James chapter gives citations to an extensive body of
research that tests explicit hypotheses derived from the theory of reading
as a second signaling system for listening. The chapter also notes that
the theory of reading does not describe the information processing demands
of literacy tasks that use the graphics technologies such as matrices,
flow charts, etc. These so-called "real world" tasks, like those found on
the TABE, ABLE, NAALS, CASAS,TALS,IALS and other tests mix the information
processing involved in reading with that involved in graphics display
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