Linguistic Considerations in the Design of the $tanford Computer Based Curriculum in Initial Reading


Introduction. This paper is a discussion of the linguistic andpsycholinguistic propositions underlying the Stanford computer-assisted curriculum in beginning reading. The preparation and presentation of this curriculum has been undertaken as a joint project by staff members, of the Institute for Mathematical Studies in the Social Sciences at Stanford, under the direction of Professor Richard C. Atkinson, and by members of the teach-Although it is impossible to separate completely the lingUistic elements of the Stanford program from the total curriculum, we have tried to provide this independent discussion of linguistic issues for those interested in comparing the methodological positions of various lingUistically-oriented reading materials. We feel that the precise rationale for many important methodological decisions has been obscure in several reading series claiming a lingUistic approach. In this paper we will attempt to state what we consider to be the necessary rationale for some of these decisions, and then detail and defend some specific positions adopted in the Stanford program. It should be noted that such a rigorously detailed approach as we propose, while perhaps always desirable, is in fact a requirement in a computer-based curriculum.* Such a curriculum demands clearly defined decisions in instructional methodology and detailed specifications of *General discussions of the requirements of computer-based curricula are included in Atkinson and Hansen (1965) and Rodgers (1967). 1 individual items-their wording, sequence, and format. The criteria for evaluating student responses and for determining subsequent instructional sequences must be similarly detailed. Contributions of LingQistics to Reading Pedagogy. In discussions of linguistics and the teaching of reading, it has sometimes been assumed on the part of both linguists and teachers that there are essential similarities between the structure of language as described by linguists and the instruction of reading as undertaken by teachers. In actuality, the task of the li.nguist and the task of the reading teacher are highly dissimilar, and any attempt to equate them can only obscure some rather specific, though li.mited, areas in which communication can usefQlly take place. Thus it is that one can find several contemporary reading programs designated as "linguistically" oriented bu·;; 'which differ significantly. * These differences are not primarily due to linguistic disagreements among the consultant lingQists, but rather to the pedagogical use of certain basic linguistic information. As the pedagogical use of linguistic description is varied today, so has, historically, the focus of lingQistics within its own sphere been varied. The focus of …

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Rodgers1967LinguisticCI, title={Linguistic Considerations in the Design of the \$tanford Computer Based Curriculum in Initial Reading}, author={Theodore S. Rodgers}, year={1967} }