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Language Arts, Vol. 76, No. 3, January 1999

Cover Art for Language Arts, Vol. 76, No. 3, January 1999

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Revealing Language

  • Students' Stories about Reading Education

    David Landis

    Abstract: Argues that learning to investigate students' language holds great promise as an avenue of assessment. Shows what the stories of three second-grade students reveal about their beliefs regarding both reading and language growth. Discusses how students define for themselves who readers are and what readers can do.

    Keywords: Assessment, Elementary

  • Beginning to Read and the Spin Doctors of Science: An Excerpt

    Denny Taylor

    Abstract: Notes only a small number of widely-circulated studies are central to the idea that teachers should specifically teach phonemic awareness skills to young children. Shows that they selectively and misleadingly cite other studies out of context to support their argument and that their statistical procedures do not support their propositions. Offers eight major criticisms of phonemic awareness research.

    Keywords: Research, Elementary

  • Caught between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Natural Scientist Writes

    Caroline V. Owens

    Abstract: Observes a 9-year-old third-grade student at home and at school. Reveals the disparity between Laura's highly contextualized knowledge of science and the school science curriculum. States that teachers do not value Laura's strong observational and analytical proclivities and that both she and her teachers think of Laura as an academic failure.

    Keywords: Pedagogy, Elementary

  • The California Reading Initiative: A Formula for Failure for Bilingual Students?

    David Freeman and Yvonne S. Freeman

    Abstract: Describes the formation of the new "California Reading Initiative" that directly ties school funding to practices such as teaching phonemic awareness and systematic, explicit phonics. Assesses its research base, and discusses problems in teaching Limited-English-Proficient students to read following its directives. Presents research that supports an approach to reading instruction consistent with effective programs for bilingual students.

    Keywords: Language, Reading, Elementary

  • Sacred Cows: Questioning Assumptions in Elementary Writing Programs

    Brenda Power and Susan Ohanian

    Abstract: Presents a series of e-mail conversations between the two authors as they debate some of the "sacred cows" of writing instruction in elementary language arts: (1) Do teachers need to be writers?; (2) Do students need to keep journals?; (3) Is writing a political act?; and (4) Do students need to publish their work?

    Keywords: Technology, Writing, Elementary

  • Language Play as Response Discourse

    Lynda A. Holmes

    Abstract: Illustrates how studying fourth-grade students' language-play response discourses and sharing students' patterns of thinking with them can lead to authentic assessment that fuels learning. Discusses open activities (providing challenge, autonomy, and social collaboration) that foster language-play response. Discusses what is meant by language play.

    Keywords: Language, Elementary

  • Talking About Books . . . Karen Hesse

    Cathy Beck, Linda Gwyn, Dick Koblitz, Anne O'Connor, Kathryn Mitchell Pierce and Susan Wolf

    Abstract: Presents an interview with Karen Hesse, author of 12 books of fiction for young, middle, and older readers, and winner of the 1998 Newbery Award. Offers an overview of Hesse's books, organized into picture books, transition chapter books, and novels. Presents a discussion of the themes found in her books, highlighting children's discussion remarks.

    Keywords: Literature, Reading, Elementary, Middle

  • Editors’ Pages

    Sharon Murphy and Curt Dudley-Marling

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Bulbs

    Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Elementary

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts