Thursday, 19 July 2012

Is Reading Really the Second Nature?

Reading isn't something that comes naturally like learning to speak does. It takes so many efforts and considerations when it comes to the question of how to make kids learn to read.
There is no denying the fact that reading is a learned skill, and it is imperative that parents understand this! Most of the recent controversy and debates over how to teach kids reading — whether to use the method of whole language or phonics — has now died down. Everyone knows that the "whole language" stresses over literature and word meanings, while "phonics" teaches children to pronounce letters and commingle them to form words. So the need of the hour is a balanced program which brings equilibrium between literature and phonics.
The general belief that reading is something that comes naturally, like learning to talk is very much wrong. One significant aspect that has to be learned here is the relationship between the alphabet, speech sounds and their way of pronunciation.
Most children learn to speak out words in the first, second, or third grades and this is phonics. If a child can't make this connection between the alphabet and the sounds, then reading for him can be very difficult. This might be a symptom of a learning problem like dyslexia. Dyslexics face great difficulty connecting sounds with letters and blending letters to form words. The kids with dyslexia take much longer time to get it, but it is also true that once they get it, they advance very quickly.
Whatever the schools, parents and teachers do to help kids read is very significant. When kids come to school for the first time, they have a huge spoken vocabulary from being read, heard by people, and from watching TV. So, it is important that as they begin to read, their reading vocabulary has to come up to the spoken vocabulary.
But, by third or fourth grades, the textbooks that kids read contain words that are beyond their spoken vocabulary usually. Then the task of reading becomes something to help improve their language.
As third and fourth grade students are introduced to new words by reading, they might sound out words without knowing their meaning. They must then look for the meaning of these words. At this stage, children read books on different subjects – like literature, social sciences, environmental sciences, general knowledge, geography, history etc., as well. This additional reading means that they will have to read at a good rate, and this way child learn more words and facts beyond what he use in his/her general day to day talk.
What Can Parents do if Their Child isn't Reading at a Good Rate?
If a child isn't reading at a good rate, then his or her parent must try to figure out the reason behind it. They can ask for an explanation that makes sense from a professional tutor or reading specialist at the child's school. It is not necessary that parents start trying to solve their child's reading problems on their own by force or any unfair means like beating children. Rather, they can go to a specialist to solve the problem of reading with their child.
Parents should also bear in mind that reading is significant at all levels for language either speaking or writing, and thinking. If kids spend most of their time watching TV, playing games, or just killing their time doing things which don’t make them read or learn, then they are left with any time for reading. And when kids aren't reading as much as they require at their age, their language level doesn't advance.
So at last parents should always come up with ideas, books, educational games, reading puzzles, and other activities which inspire kids to read and learn.
If you have any questions, need advice on helping kids read or learn, or any other suggestion you like to share with other readers, you are welcome with your suggestions and comments. 

1 comment:

  1. After reading your article no one can say that Reading is Second Habit. Very nice article. Thanx for guiding me how to tackle with my kids.