Debatable Issues Underlying Whole-Language Philosophy A Literacy Instructor’s Perspective Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   January 01, 1994
Debatable Issues Underlying Whole-Language Philosophy
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gay Fawcett
    Kent State University, OH Summit County Board of Education, OH
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   January 01, 1994
Debatable Issues Underlying Whole-Language Philosophy
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1994, Vol. 25, 37-39. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2501.37
History: Received February 9, 1993 , Accepted April 21, 1993
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1994, Vol. 25, 37-39. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2501.37
History: Received February 9, 1993; Accepted April 21, 1993
I received a note through the school mail that said: “Here’s an article I know you will find interesting, but I think I know what you would say about it.” The note was from a speech-language pathologist and was attached to Shapiro’s (1992)  article, “Debatable Issues Underlying Whole-Language Philosophy: A Speech-Language Pathologist’s Perspective.” In the article, Shapiro challenges what she calls fundamental assumptions of a whole-language philosophy: (a) that spoken language is directly comparable to written language and (b) that skilled readers rely on contextual information more than on the printed word. I assumed that the pathologist who sent the article expected me to defend whole language against Shapiro’s criticisms because I am a whole-language advocate. As I read the article, however, I found myself agreeing with Shapiro’s arguments against these assumptions and asking: “What would I say to speech-language pathologists who read this article?”
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