Balanced of Literacy is philosophical literacy approach which children would learn how to read and write effectively. Teachers use different effective teaching technique and eternally guide students in accumulating new knowledge. The system uses the principles of Motivation, Engagement, Guidance and Individualism or Self-actualization. Also it uses the phonics rule to help students to read accurately. On the other hand, the program has also weaknesses. Educators certainly believe that balanced education can be achieved not only in using the Phonics method but also the learning principle called Whole Language.
Education will be its best form when the two rules mixes and will be applied accordingly to enhance children’s ability to read and write. Balanced Literacy: Its Nature, Strengths and Weaknesses Balanced Literacy is the principle of learning on how to achieve and develop proper reading and writing through determined support and proper technique from the teacher. The principle uses premiere techniques to motivate and inculcate values to the students. Basically, it is a program that cultivates student’s skills in different fields bearing in mind different approaches for the students.
Also, the teachers use approaches that consider the degree or level of complexity subject matter appropriate for the students. To sum up, the technique also makes it a point to respect and to be acquainted with the student’s culture, religion and especially academic diversity. (Frey, et al, 2005, p. 272) Nature and Importance The philosophical orientation of balanced literacy uses different strategies proven to help student’s particular abilities. The importance of balanced literacy in education is inevitable considering its applications in educating children. In this practice, the ability of the teacher to teach is necessary.
The teacher’s basic teaching skills must be polished in order to gain responsive actions from the students. The common concerns and practices include the following: Motivation, Engagement, Guidance and Individualism. (Frey, et al, 2005, p. 272) Motivation, Engagement and Guidance comes simultaneously. Motivation is the principle of attracting or stimulating participant’s interest in the writing and reading. The teacher encourages students to do well and pay attention in everything they do. This method is one way of uplifting egos of participants so that proper education may take place.
Also, in this strategy, student will be able to realize the significance of learning and the role of education in molding their lives. Engagement is the process in which students will be active in joining different activities set by teacher. They are listening attentively and give responses in the best way they can do. Also, they are teacher oriented where they seem to value teachers’ instructions to a great extent. The nature of engagement uses different approaches. This method is the most critical stage where the most learning takes place. In this system, teachers use different excellent teaching techniques.
The method includes Teachers Reading, Shared Reading, Teachers Writing and Shared Writing. Teachers Reading is the process in which the teacher reads a story in a loud voice incorporated by emotions depicted in the story. This will cultivate student’s vocabulary and will activate student’s ability in predicting how the story goes and assessing the sense of the story. On the other hand, Shared Reading is the method in which students and teacher reads together. Shared reading will surely enhance students’ reading strategies. (Strickland 2001) Also, they would develop correct pronunciation as well as fluency and phrasing.
To sum up, this practice will surely inculcate the value of politeness and respect as students will be able to listen to teacher as they read. The concept of “Teacher writing and Shared Writing” is the process in which teacher gives the model writing and students try to do it in with the guidance of the teacher. The purpose of this method is primarily is to develop student’s concept of hand writing applying writing strategies. This method is a catalyst in helping students in familiarizing the alphabet and will further support their reading and communicating development.
(Heydon et. al, 2004, pg 44) On the other hand, the balanced literacy program also uses the Phonics method where teacher uses the principle of spelling and the students are taught of sound relationships. Students are given with passage containing various words that applies the Phonics rule. Consistently, with this method, children will be able to comprehend more the text and appreciating or knowing the words precisely. (Wren, 2000) After the students are monitored by the teachers, children will read and write on their own. This method is called Individualism or Self-actualization.
This method is also called the progression stage where the child will act out the things that he learned. Problems with Balanced of Literacy Educators from different parts of the world are debating on what is the most accepted literacy program that would certainly and consistently teach children in the most effective way. Considering the great and wide applications of Balanced Literacy, it is one of the most distinguished and most eminent literacy programs. However, it has also certain flaws. Educators across the globe are questioning the use of the method of Phonics in the method.
They are claiming that the in order to be called a “Balanced Literacy”, the Phonics method should be used in accordance with the Whole Language. Whole Language is a literacy principle in which teachers tend to teach children on focusing on the meaning of the text, undermining its authority and its essence. Also, students are paying attention to moderate skill instruction. (Chitrapu, 1996, p 28) Finally, educators believe that education will be in its best when the combination of the two principles will be used to teach children to read accurately and precisely. Narrowing down
Throughout the years, balanced of Literacy continue to help children to expand their horizon in the field of education. It is unquestionably one of the best literacy programs as it continues to nourish and feed the mind of young generation in an exceptional way. References Chitrapu, Devil. English Teaching Forum. Whole Language: Adapting the Approach for Large Classes. Volume 34, No 2, April – June 1996. Page 28 Frey, Bruce B. , Lee, Steve W. , Tollefson, Nona. , Pass, Lisa, Massengill, Donita. Balanced Literacy in an Urban School District. Journal of Educational Research. p272
Heydon, Rachel, Hibbert, Kathryn, Iannacci, Luigi. Strategies to Support Balanced Literacy Approaches in Pre- and Inservice Teacher Education. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. December 2004. p44. Strickland, Dorothy (2001). Balanced Literacy: Teaching the Skills and Thrills in Reading Retrieved August 09, 2008 from, http://teacher. scholastic. com/professional/teachstrat/balanced. htm Wren, Sebastian (2000). What Does a Balanced Literacy Approach Mean? Soutwest Eduactional Development Laboratory Magazine. Retrieved August 10, 2008 from,http://www. sedl. org/reading/topics/balanced. html
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