Back to: Pedagogy of English – Unit 3
The whole language approach in teaching English is an approach where stimulating children that interest the learners is taught. It is a method of teaching children how to read by encouraging them to understand how words are put together. It also enables them to frame meaningful sentences in a language. It is also referred to as balanced literacy because it is,
“an educational philosophy that teaches children to read by using strategies that show how language is a system of parts that work together to create meaning.”
Features of the Whole Language Approach
- Learners are exposed to meaningful literature from the beginning.
- It makes learning more interesting for learners.
- It encourages creativity and allows learners to understand the reading material properly.
- Learners can also be more observant and free in this approach.
- They learn to imitate proper reading behavior without losing confidence.
Activities Of Whole Language Approach
The whole language approach is mostly based on content and meaning. Therefore, some activities that can be included in this approach are reading materials that align with the interest of learners. Cooperative activities of reading and writing that are designed to develop and improve the reflection, thinking, speaking, language, and appreciation skills of learners must also be implemented.
Whole Language Approach Lesson Plan
The lesson plan of the whole language approach must include the following:
- Lessons must always progress from whole to part.
- Lessons must be learned-centered.
- Lessons must possess meaning and purpose.
- Lessons must promote social interaction.
Drawbacks of the Approach
A few drawbacks of this approach are as follows.
- The lack of phonetics instruction may lead learners to spell words incorrectly.
- Learners may not be able to recognize unfamiliar words successfully.
- The approach also tends to overlook accuracy most of the time.
- Teachers may find difficulty using this approach as they have to frame their curriculum.
- Some learners may prefer more organized learning methods and this approach may not be compatible with them.
These are the various features, drawbacks, activities, and elements of a lesson plan of the whole language approach that a teacher must give importance to.