Whole language

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Whole Language

Background

Whole language: 1980, US educators concerned with the teaching of language arts: reading and writing in the native language (teaching of literacy)

Whole Languagemovement: opposes to teaching reading and writing; language should be taught as a “whole”. It is a theory of language instruction that helped young children to read and taught middle and secondarylevels ESL. It respects each student as a member of a culture and as a creator of knowledge. It emphasizes learning to read and write with focus on real communication and reading and writing for pleasure.It shares a philosophical and instructional perspective with Communicative Language Teaching, since it emphasizes the importance of meaning and meaning making in teaching and learning. It relatesto natural approaches to language learning since it is designed to help children and adults learn a second language in the same way that children learn their first language.

We see Whole Language asan approach based on key principles about language (as a whole) and learning (writing, reading, listening, speaking integrated in learning).

Approach: theory of language and of learning

Wholelanguage views language organization from an interactional perspective. This perspective is a social one that views language as a vehicle for human communication in which there is an interactionalrelationship between readers and writers. Language use is always in a social context. A whole language perspective requires an authentic “real” situation. Language is always seen as something that is usedfor meaningful purposes and to carry out authentic-functions.

The learning theory underlying Whole Language is in the humanistic and constructivist schools. Whole Language is said to be authentic,personalized, self-directed, collaborative and pluralist.

Constructivist learning theory holds that knowledge is socially constructed, rather that received or discovered. Constructivist...
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