Understanding and Teaching Reading: An Interactive Model

Understanding and Teaching Reading: An Interactive Model

Understanding and Teaching Reading: An Interactive Model

Understanding and Teaching Reading: An Interactive Model

Synopsis

In the words of Aldous Huxley, "Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting." Few people question the value of reading; in fact, most extol its virtues. As our culture becomes more complex, reading plays an increasingly greater role in satisfying personal needs and in promoting social awareness and growth. In the last 20 years, the teaching of this invaluable skill has focused so intensely on comprehension and prediction from context that it has lost sight of the significance of automaticity and fluency in the word-identification process. Reading is a synthesis of word recognition and comprehension; thus, this text is about these basic processes and their integration. A common plea from teachers today is that research and psychology be translated into teaching behavior. Therefore, the aim of this book is twofold: one, to identify, report, organize, and discussthose bits of data, research and theory that are most relevant to the teacher's understanding of the reading process; and two, to help educators to interpret and applytheory and research data to everyday classroom teaching, as well as to the problems encountered frequently in developmental and remedial teaching.

Excerpt

Few people today question the values of reading. In fact, most extol its virtues. Reading is a key to success in school, to the development of out-of-school interests, to the enjoyment of leisure time, and to personal and social adjustment. It helps children to adjust to their peers, to become independent of parents and teachers, to select and prepare for an occupation, and to achieve social responsibilities. As our culture becomes more complex, reading plays an increasing role in satisfying personal needs and in promoting social awareness and growth. Through reading, we may broaden our tastes and our understanding of others; we make our life full, significant and interesting. But, above all, in the modern school, effective reading is the most important avenue to effective learning.

Reading is so interrelated with the total educational process that educational success requires successful reading. Experience has taught us that those who fail in school usually have failed first in reading. But why do we need another book on reading and on the teaching of reading? The simplest answer to this question is that, despite the effort of thousands of dedicated teachers, there are unfortunately millions of children leaving our schools without adequate ability in reading. It is estimated that 23 million adults are functionally illiterate; they do not possess the reading and writing skills needed to understand and to use the printed material usually encountered in the work place and in everyday living (Stedman &Kaestle, 1987). They are unable to read job or credit applications, directions on medicine bottles, or the manuals that accompany cars or appliances. Illiterate adults account for 75 percent of the unemployed. Forty percent of fourth-grade poor readers would rather clean their room than read (Adams, 1990). An even larger . . .

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