AuthorFREEMAN, YVONNE SUZANNE.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractContemporary Spanish basal readers, published for use in elementary bilingual Spanish/English classrooms in the United States, reflect a technological view of curriculum, a behavioristic view of learning, and a part to whole view of reading. Although teacher's guides and promotional materials for the basal series make reference to recent reading theory and research, the basal materials themselves, when examined from a theoretical perspective, demonstrate little understanding of the reading process. Six basal reading programs, published since 1980, were studied: Addison Wesley's Hagamos Caminos; Scott Foresman's Focus: Leer para triunfar; Houghton Mifflin's Programa de lectura en espanol de Houghton Mifflin; Macmillan's Mil Maravillas; Economy's Economy Spanish Reading Program; and Santillana's Lectura en dos idiomas. Each series was surveyed using the Program Profile Continuum Survey and then analyzed in depth with the Spanish Program Profile Instrument. Both evaluation instruments focus on reading, language, learning, and teaching theory. The results of the study of the six series suggest the programs are more alike than different. These similarities can be summarized as follows: (1) Despite the fact that the series approach print differently, the ultimate goal of skill exercises in all the series is word identification. (2) Recent comprehension theory is discussed in the teacher's guides, but comprehension questions reflect the idea that comprehension is a product rather than a process. (3) Student text is carefully controlled and often repetitious because the assumption is that language is habit. (4) The language of the majority of the student text in all of the series is adapted. (5) The materials reflect the view that the teacher is a technician leading the passive learner. (6) The scope and sequence of the programs sets many students up for failure because each step is dependent upon mastery of the previous steps. The materials of the Spanish basal reading programs studied do not reflect the current state of knowledge about the reading process in Spanish. Alternate programs using a whole language approach to learning would allow Hispanic students to choose their own reading, write their own stories, and become literate in their first language.
Degree ProgramElementary Education