Blog Series - Part 6: Stop teaching “Reading” and recognize instead that students are learning LANGUAGE.

Blog Series: Why we should STOP teaching reading in schools 

    This blog series explores the development of Written Language:  reading, spelling, and writing as a natural extension from oral language to visual language.

    This blog series describes what reading IS – the integration of visual language (letters) into already-existing oral language processing systems (sounds, words, and vocabulary). 

    pixabay image by Petra - girl reading a book

    Part 6: Stop teaching “Reading” and recognize instead that students are learning LANGUAGE.

    We can start to recognize that “reading” is NOT an “academic task”.  It is a language processing task.  We can focus on language-rich instruction and activities that draws attention to language units and language levels, and activates oral language processing. 

    Do No Harm

    As shown in the previous post in this blog, when we try to teach “reading” rather than focusing on language processing, we may apply unhelpful instructional approaches and strategies.  

    Previous examples show that a focus on GUESSING words and using MEANING to try to “assume” what word could fit the context of the sentence when reading WORKS AGAINST the language process. 

    Teaching meaning-based strategies as your MAIN focus is DETRIMENTAL and does harm. 

    Before the Phonics crowd gets high-and-mighty in the face of the Whole Language folks, consider that a phonics approach that focuses on teaching “ ‘au’ says ‘ah’” is ALSO doing us very little good.  You NEED context to activate word meaning to store words. 

    Rather than fixating on EITHER of these broken instructional paradigms, refer back to the idea introduced in the first line of this article: 

    Reading is a continual integration of oral and written language.  It is the neural integration or connection of what a word sounds like, means, and looks like.


    Watch for part 7 and beyond of this blog series as we consider language units from visual to oral language. 

    Read Intro: Why We should STOP teaching Reading in Schools

    Read Part 1: What are the components of Oral language?

    Read Part 2: What is Visual or Written Language, and how is it INTEGRATED?

    Read Part 3: Spoken word Structure, Written Word Structure, and Word Meaning:  MAPPING Language Units

    Read Part 4: More Integration through Mapping – Mapping Words

    Read Part 5: Part 5: Mapping, Word Mapping, “Sight Word” storage, and Irregular Words

    Got questions, concerns, yeah buts?  Visit to engage in some delightful conversation on how you can improve your reading instruction or your child’s learning.