The Initial Reading Scheme

Is There an Alternative?
  • Stephen Parker
Part of the Topics in Language and Linguistics book series (TLLI)


The context of education to which this chapter refers is monolingual, though this is not the overall situation in the United Kingdom. However, I believe that some of the principles to which I refer are significant in relation to reading development in any language, first or second. The approach which we adopt in the U.K. has been called “whole-language” by American commentators. By this term is meant an approach which integrates the four modes (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) and centers upon communication in “real” situations for a real purpose. “Children learn what language is by finding out what language does” is the working maxim. The practitioners with whom I work do not consider this to be anything so precise as a method but rather a natural, commonsense way of doing things. There is a strong tradition of curriculum development from the base upwards, that is, by practicing teachers working through teachers’ centers or professional associations. Educationists and researchers in curriculum development interact with teachers at that level, with the effect that the United Kingdom, which does not have a centrally determined curriculum, has been rich ground for curriculum development in first-language learning.


Curriculum Development Picture Book Reading Scheme Reading Development Reading Program 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Parker
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of East AngliaNorwichEngland

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