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[Susan notes: It is always tricky responding to virtriolic attacks. Steve Krashen gives good advice: Don't write the (biased) author; write to letters to editor. Don't respond emotionally. Present facts.]

Submitted to Rocky Mountain News but not published
11/29/2004

To the editor

Sent to the Rocky Mountain News, Nov. 29



Linda Seebach is badly misinformed about whole language ("Whole language backers give 'stupid' new meaning,"). Contrary to Seebach's description, whole language does not claim that welearn to read just by being around people who read.

It claims that we learn to read by understanding texts, by making sense of what is on the page.



Whole language teachers provide children with interesting texts and help make the texts comprehensible in a variety of ways, including teaching the basic rules of phonics. According to my analysis of the research, children in classes that use whole language do better than children in traditional classes on tests of reading comprehension, and do just as well on tests of "skills."





Author of: Three Arguments Against Whole Language and Why They are Wrong (1999, Heinemann) and The Power of ReadingM/i> (2004, second edition, Libraries Unlimited, Heinemann).

Stephten Krashen< Professor Emeritus, USC


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