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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen again shows us how to write a letter. They must be short and avoid mud-slinging--even though they are in response to terrible mud-slinging.]

Published in Rocky Mountain News

To the editor

The News' Linda Seebach is badly misinformed about whole language ("Whole language backers give 'stupid' new meaning," Nov. 27). Contrary to Seebach's description, whole language does not claim that we learn 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."

Stephen Krashen

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