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Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning…

Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print

by Marilyn Jager Adams

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Academic Review Of Reading That Is Not Fun To Read, July 31, 2004

This book contains gems: there is no question about that. The `reading-literacy' project was given solid funding by the government and Ms. Adams has done a superlative job of surveying the literature and coming up with reasonable conclusions.

That said, there is a problem. And the problem is that "Beginning to Read" was written for bureaucrats. The straightforward language we might expect from an educator and researcher is therefore made obscure, obtuse, and overly `officious'. [No doubt pleasing to the edu-crats.]

For example, (from page 413; the summary): "It is because of the process of comprehension consists of actively searching the overlap among words for syntactic and semantic coherence that reading depends so critically on the speed and automaticity of word recognition."

[Or, in other words, reading comprehension depends on speed and automatic word recognition so that the nascent reader can make use of syntax and semantics. ]

Not incomprehensible in it's original form, Adam's verbiage is awkward and somehow embarrassing for a book that is supposed to be about `reading' and `comprehension'.

Three Stars. A comprehensive survey of current and past literature, this book attempts--and in my opinion succeeds-- in reconciling the phonics versus whole language camps. However, expect a slog of it. [Unless of course you are an edu-crat in which case the officiousness will sound very convincing indeed-lol]

Anyone else interested in this topic but with less time might find the same information in a `tastier' format in the following books: Mem Fox's "Reading Magic"; and the slightly less digestible "Raising Lifelong Learners" by Lucy McCormick Calkins. ( )
  PamFamilyLibrary | Jul 27, 2016 |
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This book could not have been written without the unending support and encouragement of my husband, Milton B. Adams. I dedicate it to him and our children, John and Jocelyn, with all my love.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0262510766, Paperback)

Beginning to Read reconciles the debate that has divided theorists for decades over the "right" way to help children learn to read. Drawing on a rich array of research on the nature and development of reading proficiency, Adams shows educators that they need not remain trapped in the phonics versus teaching-for-meaning dilemma. She proposes that phonics can work together with the whole language approach to teaching reading and provides an integrated treatment of the knowledge and process involved in skillful reading, the issues surrounding their acquisition, and the implications for reading instruction.A Bradford Book

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:27 -0400)

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