In this section, you will watch the workshop participants debate over explicit instruction. The questions that follow will help frame your own response of the issue.
The workshop participants analyzed a word study lesson, and responded to it, based on their own teaching experiences and the principles from the research. In the ensuing discussion, the controversies surrounding phonics instruction emerge, especially with respect to planned, explicit instruction versus "opportunistic" instruction. Use the video image below to locate where to begin viewing.
In response to the formal lesson plan, second-grade teacher, Meynardo Gutierrez initiates this discussion by stating, "Actually, the beauty of Language Experience... is that you don't have to set up anything particular for them to learn at a particular time. You just do it, right then and there."
Dr. Paratore replies, "An opportunistic approach to phonics instruction privileges some children and leaves others behind. And the ones it leaves behind are the ones who depend on teachers to learn."
- What do you think? With whom do you agree?
- Should phonics instruction be planned or should it occur as needed when children are reading?
- In what situations would you agree with Meynardo?
- In what situations would you agree with Dr. Paratore?
- What do you conclude based on this discussion?