[Susan notes: There is a lot of information packed into this letter.]
Those who maintain that whole language lacks scientific support (Ziffer, Leppin, Letters 2/27) have not examined the research. In addition to Kenneth Goodman's empirical and scientifically valid studies, and the many studies reviewed in detail in Frank Smith's Understanding Reading, current research firmly shows that the core hypothesis of whole language, the hypothesis that literacy is developed by understanding texts, is correct. Those who read more read better, write better, have larger vocabularies and have more control over complex grammatical constructions. This conclusion is not based on "unreliable anecdote," as Leppin claims, but on scientific research.
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