Whole-to-Part, Reader-Based & Psycholinguistic Instructional Approaches

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  • 0:01 Instructional Strategies
  • 1:02 Psycholinguistics
  • 2:39 Whole-to-Part
  • 4:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

In this lesson, we'll examine how to teach reading using whole-to-part strategies, including what psycholinguistics says about the ways words differ from each other.

Instructional Strategies

Raza is a new teacher and he's very excited. He really wants to help his students succeed, and to learn to love reading like he does. But he's a little worried, too. He knows that many students in his school struggle with reading and other academic subjects. What should he do? How should he teach reading to help his students succeed?

An instructional strategy is a way of approaching teaching something. It's like a road map for how to teach a topic. For example, Raza can teach reading many different ways: he can have students follow along as he reads to them, teach them to use their fingers to trace the words, or he could teach students how to sound out unfamiliar words. All of these are different instructional strategies.

To help Raza decide how to teach reading, let's look at some common instructional strategies, including psycholinguistics, whole-to-part, and reader-based strategies.


Raza wants to figure out the best way to teach his students how to read. And he wants them to learn not only how to read, but also to learn to love reading.

One of his friends suggested that one place to look for how people think and learn is not in the educational field, but in the psychology field. According to Raza's friend, many psychologists study how people think and learn, and what they find out can help educators like Raza be better at teaching.

Raza's friend is on to something. Psycholinguistics is a field of study that combines cognitive psychology and linguistics. Essentially, psycholinguistics brings together information on how people learn with information about the study of language. In turn, teachers like Raza can use psycholinguistics to help mold their teaching.

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