File - Miss Audrey`s Reading Resources

Audrey Martin
Educ 342 – TR – 9:30am
February 26, 2012
Edok #1
Morrow, L. M. & Tracey, D. H. (1997). Rethinking strategies used for phonics instruction in early
childhood classrooms. The Reading Teacher. 50(8), 644-651.
Central Theme:
This article talks about three types of phonics instruction: whole-word approach, phonetic approach
and the “combination approach.” There was a study done in 76 classrooms, ranging from preschool to
second grade, where researchers studied the different types of phonics instruction and which ones most
benefited the students.
Main Ideas:
*The current debate is not whether phonics instruction is important, but rather which approach
to teacher phonic relationships is most effective. This debate is between whole-word approach
and the phonetic approach.
*There has been a third approach in which both the phonetic and whole-word approach are
combined and called the “combination approach.”
-With this combined approach, phonics instruction can include both functional and incontext experiences, as well as explicit, systematic instruction.
*Explicit instruction is the systematic, sequential presentation of phonics skills using isolated,
direct instructional strategies.
*Contextual instruction includes learning within meaningful or functional contexts.
*Teachers reported using more phonics instruction as grade levels increased, as well as more
commercially prepared materials. Worksheets were most used by teachers in kindergarten and
1-2 grades.
*Current research indicated that a strong foundation in letter-sound relationships is important
to success with reading and writing development (Adams, 1990; Symons, Woloshyn & Pressley,
Author’s Conclusion:
The authors neither promote nor discount any of the approaches to phonics instruction. They simply
wanted to study the different approaches and see how students learn/react to each approach.
I really enjoyed reading this article. Unlike the authors, I do have a favorite approach when it comes
to phonics instruction. I would imagine that in my classroom I would prefer a “combination approach.” I
think students need to learn the different approaches and then continue using whichever one works
best for them. I still think it’s important as a pre-service teacher to research all three approaches and
keep up-to-date on any new approaches.