A New Look at Reading: A Guide to the Language Arts

A New Look at Reading: A Guide to the Language Arts

A New Look at Reading: A Guide to the Language Arts

A New Look at Reading: A Guide to the Language Arts

Excerpt

No part of the school program is more discussed, more worried about by children, parents, and teachers--and perhaps more misunderstood than reading and the other language arts. It is probably the topic about which most "educational gobbledygook" has been printed in books, professional and popular magazines, and the daily newspapers.This Guide has been prepared in the hope that it will bring some clarity where before there may have been confusion. It will not provide final and absolute answers, but it will give direction to your thinking in a field where one can become easily swamped by sheer wordiness.Some may ask, "Is this a really important problem?" In answer, we can take any so-called average elementary school class, and find out how many are reading on the grade level to which they are assigned. Regardless of the grade or class we choose to analyze--first, fifth, eighth, or even on the high school or college level--we find a reading range of at least five years, with only a minority of the class reading on the grade level where they are assigned. If we look at the problem of communication in a wider framework, most of us are aware of our difficulties because we don't always speak and understand the "same language" as those with whom we are communicating, whether they are in foreign countries or in our own homes. Our communication--through reading, writing, speaking, and listening-- often gets in the way of common understandings.We may read words but not meanings. We may say certain words which are heard accurately by others but misinterpreted just the same. We may listen without really hearing. As long as we continue to live in a world where we are dependent on others in our daily lives, it is essential that we find ways of improving our communication of ideas.Questions like the following may occur to you: . . .

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