Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1965

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Jeanne M. Kuhn


The problem of this study is to survey the literature of the major reading instructional approaches in the United States as they influence the several linguistic approaches. The purposes of this paper are to summarize the literature in the field of linguistic approaches to reading with the objectives of identifying the principles on which the approaches are based, to present the experimentation and research of outstanding scholars in the field, and to suggest some implications for the classroom teacher. A variety of approaches to the teaching of reading has been used in our country and has influenced the development of the linguistic approaches. Outstanding approaches that have been used are: the alphabet approach, the word approach, the phonic approach, the sentence-story approach, the silent-oral approaches, the basal approach, and the individual approach. The linguistic approaches to the teaching of reading are based on a number of linguistic concepts, such as: the understanding of oral and written language as arbitrary systems of symbols and meanings; the presence of vocal or sub-vocal speech in some degree in the reading process; the realization of the alphabetic nature of our language; and the importance of intonation. There are various linguistic approaches that have been developed around linguistic principles and the study of the history of the language. All the linguistic approaches rely on the science of structural linguistics and would be based on the knowledge scholars in the field have accumulated concerning the structure and manipulation of our language. The main linguistic approaches are the phonemic, augmented alphabet, and intonation. There has been a great deal of research with the phonemic and augmented alphabet approaches as they both are organized with available classroom teaching material. The research with these approaches indicates that there are possibilities of significant contributions from studies of linguistics and reading. Some of the implications for classroom teachers related to linguistics approaches to the teaching of reading are: the value of an accurate knowledge of the structure of the language; the realization of the reinforcement possibilities in working with the language arts as closely interrelated skills; a knowledge of the importance of sentence patterns and manipulation of sentences; the importance of inner speech in all reading; and the creative and flexible ways in which linguistic approaches may be used.


Copyright 1965 Donna Jean Harsh


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