Many students of reading are still tagged as being “at risk’’, since they demonstrate poor reading skills. They are most likely two, three or more years behind their classmates in their mastery of basic reading skills. The teachers continue to exert effort for the beginning readers on which method will produce better results in learning to read. Will it be the application of Mother Tongue from Grades 1-3 or is it a suitable remedial reading program or will it be the use of different strategies in teaching reading.

A significant work on beginning reading is Jeanne Chall’s “learning to read: The Great Debate’’(1997). According to her, evidence tends to support Bloomfield’s view that the first step in learning to read in one’s native language is essentially learning a printed code…. It does not support the prevailing view that the beginning reader, should from the start, engage in mature reading. Early stress in code learning not only produces better word recognition and spelling but also pronunciation & comprehension. This study represents the latest massive multi-faceted attack on the problem of beginning reading. The project consisted of 27 experiment comparing different programs; linguistic method, phonics, TESL, programmed, language experience, etc. to determine when material and method will give better results; Dysktra (1997) reported at the end of the year that “linguistic programs tended to produce better results in word recognition & spelling , although no significant differences were made in comprehension.’’ In the final report however, Dysktra concluded that certain combination of approaches prove more effective than the use of certain specified methods in isolation. For example, the modified linguistic combined with basal materials, appears to have grater effectiveness than does the basal-reader approach used in isolation.

The study further showed that the results achieved were related to the emphasis given. The approach that stressed the code had better achievement in word recognition & pronunciation while the approach that stressed meaning achieved better in comprehension.

By: MR. CLARO TRIA DE CASTRO | Teacher III | Asuncion Consunji Elementary School, , Samal, Bataan (Former Imelda Elementary School)

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