1. What the heck is "trolling"? If I'm going to be accused of it, I want to
know what it means.
2. I feel that I've unknowingly made a Protestant faux pas in the One
True Faith, the Roman Catholic church. My original posting did not attack
Whole Language. It tried to use Whole Language & Phonics as
metaphors to explore a notion in the world of reasonable competent
adult readers -- the notion of what I termed slow, careful reading and
fast, fluent reading -- and then to tease out some kind of cyclical or
complementary relationship between them.
3. Several postings emphasized that Whole Language includes Phonics
or should inlcude Phonics. Well, sure. Of course it should. The only
purpose of phonics is to get kids to the level where they can read for
meaning. I'm interested in the ages beyond this, where some people
(like me) are reasonably good slow careful readers but aren't so hot at
fast fluent reading. I'm interested in the fact that some adult readers are
excellent fast fluent readers but cannot analyse style, metre, or diction.
I'm interested in the claim that a certain form of whole-text
comprehension goes up at the same time as and as a consequence of
increased reading speed (the Speed Reading claim), a claim I take to be
true, but which, leaves me wondering: what forms of narrow attention
ot meaning are not improved in speed reading courses.
4. I did say (and this, I've deduced, is my faux pas -- I didn't know at the
time that I had entered the Whole Language church) that there is some
"evidence that phonics are apparently useful for many kids much of the
time, and that a pure whole-language approach can have high costs."
What's the big deal? Among the many reports I've read that would
support this (non-controversial I thought) claim is the October 96 RTE in
which it is reported / claimed that "phonics has been sidelined or
abandoned altogether in teachers colleges and public schools. In the
late eighties, 'a survey of 43 texts used to train reading teachers found
that none advocated systematic phonics instruction -- and only nine
even mentioned that there was a debate on the issue'" (p316).
When Russ accuses me, by dint of my posting, of exemplifying the "lost
cause" of Whole Language, I feel I've been accused of desecrated his
church, but I don't see anything in my posting to warrant the outrage. I
am not a phonics nut. I do believe that a) phonics are a useful tool to get
some kids reading; b) there are teachers who have been trained to
believe that phonics are bad and/or unnecessary and/or merely a
remedial aid; and c) some kids have suffered as a result.
To repeat: my real interest is in the roles and relationship of what I posit
are two forms of reading: slow-careful and fast-fluent. This was the
lightning rod, the ill-formed idea, to which I thought CASLL lightning might