Frances Brady

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Barnhart, June

Degree Name

B.S.Ed. (Bachelor of Science in Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Literacy and Elementary Education


Whole language is a philosophy of teaching and learning based on the theory that children learn pest when language is whole, real, and relevant. This paper is a qualitative-research paper using classroom observation and secondary materials as resources. It attempts to describe the functions of readipg and writing in the whole language classroom, and the roles phonics, spelling, handwriting, and assessment play in this kind of learning. Whole language is a philosophy based on the research done by experts in the fields of linguistics, child development, sociology, literacy theory, and other related fields. Whole language is an attempt to make the school literacy program as natural and successful as the environment in which oral language acquisition occurs. By keeping language whole, instead of breaking it into bitesized pieces, the natural purpose1of language - communication - is stressed instead of the abstra t, isolated sounds and words that are unrelated to the child's experiences. Children come to school wanting to make sense of their world. Whole language classrooms help them do that by building the curriculum around the interests and experiences the children already have.


Includes bibliographical references.


18 pages




Northern Illinois University

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