reading as a worthwhile recreationIn today's time, people especially children are dedicating less their time in reading, instead of reading educational materials, they tend to watch from the...
In today's time, people especially children are dedicating less their time in reading, instead of reading educational materials, they tend to watch from the televisions, things that could trigger their minds not to work hard and ain high. Readiong is one of the four macro skills which is really impporetant to the lives of the people, this is somehow one of the important skill that a person must posses, a well developed reading skill is a key towards a successful communication with others. With regards to the factors that affects readcing, these are of great destruction to the reader himself, although some of these factors were inborn and some are acquired during the growth years. These so-called destructors are affected by some factors that surrounds us. Some of these are; Environmental factors, Physical Factors (including the person's ability to see things clearly), culture and many more...
In reference to vocabulary development, people have three vocabularies: speaking vocabularies, writing vocabularies, and reading vocabularies. Writing vocabularies are the smallest, speaking vocabularies are larger, and reading vocabularies are, by far, the largest. Easy to see why. We understand more words when they are placed in context. People learn new words at a greater rate from reading them in context. Those who don't read have far more limited vocabularies, I'm convinced, and fewer ways to express ideas and their subtle nuances.
Reading is essential for youngsters because it requires active involvement--thinking, discovering, imagining, making connections to that which is already known. People who read have more to think about. I've also noticed over the years that students who read for enjoyment are more creative in terms of formulating ideas and exercising their imaginations.
In regard to what mrsmonica said, I have had similar experiences dozens of times with students. A student will say, "I hate to read." I will say, "Have you ever read anything you liked? Do you read stuff online? Do you read magazines?" Always, the answers are "yes." So I tell my students, "You like to read. You just don't like to read stuff you don't like to read! Neither do I. Nobody does." Once kids identify reading with reading things they don't like, it is very hard to convince them that it isn't reading they hate.
No matter how sophisticated (or electronic) communication becomes, nothing will replace reading as the most important element in educational growth and development.
The interesting thing about all the other forms of communication is that they do not improve vocabulary as reading does. Students will not learn new words as quickly or in the abundance from texting, emailing, conversation, TV watching, movie viewing, or blogging/tweeting as they will reading. I will go further in saying that the number of new words learned by reading classic literature (the books that students often complain about but frequently end up liking once they've gotten into it and taken part in meaningful discussions about) are double or even triple the words they will learn from less intellectual modern works. Why should we be concerned about this? Without a large vocabulary, people find it difficult to put into words exactly what they want to express. When one's vocabulary is limited, research shows that that person more often resorts to profanity than do those individuals whose vocabularies are well-developed. Economics also play a part in this. Students just beginning school who are from a low socio-economic status know less than half the words their classmates from middle or upper classes. Why? Because their parents don't read, and the didn't read to their kids before bed as the other parents did. Reading is integral to success in communications...all communications.
"It is all right to learn the English used by Shakespeare to be able to enjoy his plays, but using that kind of vocabulary in daily life will result in very poor communication."
Consider'st thou comments, No. 4, as from A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir to a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining if thou deni'st the least syllable of thy addition.
King Lear, 2. 2
Yup. Very poor communication.
Reading is certainly a worthwhile recreation. Many students read avidly and voraciously, but they don’t see themselves as “readers” because their choice of materials is not what their English teachers would select for them. My son is a case in point. He hated English throughout high school and got tired of reading assignments that he found dark and depressing and boring. However, he has an extensive collection of books on World War II, Roman history, and many nonfiction books. He reads all the time, but he has never thought of himself as a reader. He sees these books as fun, so they must not be “real” reading.
I am hoping that now that he is in college and majoring in history and secondary education he will start to see things from my point of view, that he is in fact a skilled and gifted reader.
Such a touchy topic, especially for us teachers! Many of my students just HATE reading! I think it's because their families did not read to them when they were little. Also, kids need to see moms and dads and siblings reading for fun, too. If that doesn't happen at home, then there's no introduction to reading for fun until school.
Also, for bilingual children or children whose parents are bilingual but they themselves are not, reading is difficult and overwhelming.
Without solid reading skills, school (especially college!) becomes very difficult in all subject areas. This makes some kids "shut down" altogether, and then they get low grades in all of their classes.
Being a teacher myself, I like the ideas put forth that suggest the importance of reading for students in preparing them for success. It has left quite an impression on me to examine students who are better readers and see that these are the students who have books in their homes, have parents who either read to them or join them in the reading process, or are in a home where the reading process is embraced through emphasis or practice. Indeed, reading is a worthwhile recreation. Yet, I have found that many students who are successful readers are in homes where it is treated as a worthwhile endeavor or as one whose reverence is evident.
Reading is extremely powerful important. Remember during slavery, the slave owners fought hard to keep the slaves from learning how to read. They did this because they knew that once the slaves began to read, then they would crave and seek freedom.
If you had good reading comprehension skills, you can pretty much teach yourself anything. This is increasingly important in this day and age as we move toward online learning.
Lastly, reading is actual enjoyable. I have seen my students who claim they HATE reading actually get enthrolled and excited by novels (if the novel is something that they are interested in.)
In response to post #3, I would like to point out that the best learners of languages - the infants and very young children - develop their most useful vocabulary without any reading. So I am not sure if reading is the best way of learning a language or increasing vocabulary. As a matter of fact, it is widely recognized that one can best learn a new language by speaking it rather than by just learning to read and write it. In India with so many different languages, I have frequently noticed that the people who learn new languages most easily are the people of action, rather than scholars in languages.
Further, can we really become better communicators by learning more and more words? Beyond an optimum level, increase in vocabulary does not help in improving communication. As a matter of fact in business communication, a general principle of good communication is to use common and shorter words rather than scholarly words understood by very few. Archaic words - that is words found mostly in old literature only are considered to be absolutely inappropriate.
It is all right to learn the English used by Shakespeare to be able to enjoy his plays, but using that kind of vocabulary in daily life will result in very poor communication.
Reading is just one form of communication among others like listening to people talk, surfing the Internet (including enotes), listening to radio, watching television watching movies, and watching plays.
Many people these days do less of reading and engage in more of other types of communication because of their easy availability as well as their more interesting contents.
Yes children need to learn to work hard and aim high. But this should not be en excuse to force children to read irrespective of the the content of the written material. Also, people more interested in other forms of communication are not necessarily lazier or less hard working than people more interested in other means and mediums like computer based communication.
Yes, people must have some basic skill in reading and writing, just as they must have some basic skills in arithmetic. But I see no justification for expecting everyone to become an avid reader to be qualified as hard working with high aims in life.
Also we must realize that, in future, the importance and value of modern means of communication involving multimedia representation capabilities is going increase rather than decrease. Today it is considered essential for every person to be able to read and write, but hundred years back it was not so. Similarly, today we may criticize people for being over dependent on modern means of communication, but in future, this will be considered an essential part of common life.