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[Susan notes: Very short and to a specific point--and it was published.]

Published in Christian Science Monitor

Let's Get the Definitions Right

We will make progress ending the reading wars when definitions and research results are made clear. Whole language does not entail "plunging children into literature." Rather, whole-language teachers provide children with interesting texts and help make these texts comprehensible.

An author on the subject, Frank Smith, notes that providing some knowledge about phonics contributes to making texts comprehensible, but there are limits on phonics: Many rules are very complex, and have numerous exceptions. There is no evidence that a heavy emphasis on phonics is of value.

Stephen Krashen
Professor of Education
University of Southern California

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