What are some factors affecting reading?  

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shedrick333 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The amount of material that is actually read by a person has a positive or negative affect on reading ability.  Many students do not read unless it is for an assignment in school.  Any type of reading, such as fiction, nonfiction, news, magazine articles, recipes, instructions, reviews, and so on, would help a person become a better reader.  Certainly, reading something the person finds interesting would be best.  But, reading something because it is helpful is good too.

The reason for the positive affect is that increasing exposure to reading a wide range and amount of material increases a person's resource of neuron connections in the brain.  The greater number of connections made while reading make it easier to understand and retain new material.  This is why older adults often make excellent college students.  They have so many neuron connections to relate to new information.  It takes much less effort to understand and remember new material.  Of course, stress can interfere with retaining information.  And, many adults who are attending college are also under a great deal of stress.  So, it might even out.

It actually seems to distress some students when they are required to read directions or material for an assignment.  This could lead to a lower level of comprehension too.  I find having students read directions and material aloud to me helps their comprehension.

Hopefully, the newer tech devices will renew an interest in reading.

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since many have already mentioned physiological and intellectual influences, I will touch more on environmental, family, and cultural factors as these are also factors that affect reading. A child who grows up in a home where reading is supported, viewed as important, and where reading material is available may often develop stronger reading skills as well as a love for reading than a child from the opposite environment.

Furthermore, many Elementary schools are extremely focused on Accelerated Reading where students read a certain amount of books and are quizzed on the material. What I have noticed is that students choose books based on which book will give them the most points. Also, when students discuss these books, they are focusing on the quizzes, the reading level, the AR points or their AR goals. I have yet to hear students discuss the books for simply loving the content of the book. In other words, the test-crazed school enviornments are certainly affecting reading.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous post's identification is critical.  The sooner and more often a child is introduced to reading, the better and more receptive they will be to the reading process.  If a child is engaged in reading more at home, this will transmit to success in reading, or at the very least, will have a minimizing effect on the challenges within reading.  It must be a consistent, worthwhile, and authentic of expression within the reading practice.  I think another factor that impacts reading is how often a child is able to talk about reading.  The challenges, successes, and interests in reading increases when they are able to talk about it with someone in a relevant fashion.  I cannot help but feel that this would also translate into success in writing, as well.

mapriem eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Factors affecting reading may be divided into physical and mental factors.

Physical factors include environmental such as light, quality of eyesight in regard to eye health, and source of the page one is reading, such as phone, TV, book, sign, or computer.

Mental factors include comprehension, learning disabilities, speed of interpretation, thought processes, and abilities to focus away from distractions.

There are numerous education techniques to improve the quality of ones reading for factors that relate to the mental aspects, yet each individual has their own capabilities regarding IQ as well as previous learning experiences.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reading is a complex combination of skills. The human brain must act like a computer: data is taken in via the eyes (or fingers, in the case of Braille), processed within the brain, interpreted and becomes information.

Several factors affect an individual's ability to read: native intelligence, eyesight, neural processing, and prior knowledge. Elementary school teachers are well-acquainted with the child who can decode well enough to read a passage aloud, but who cannot restate what has been "read" in order to demonstrate that it actually was comprehended.

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Motivation affects reading. If someone is bored by the reading material, they won't want to do it. Also, being able to decode what you are reading is important. Being able to understand vocabulary and the main idea is also important. In my classes, I find that sometimes words that seem easy to the teacher are not easy to the students, and may throw off the main idea of the text if those words are not correctly interpreted.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

krishna-agrawala is right that psychological factors can influence the ability to read. If a child is anxious and suffers from a learning disability, learning to read can be a drawn-out and painful process. Additionally, if a child does not see adults and older siblings in the home valuing reading, it can influence the child to disparage reading as something to be endured rather than enjoyed.

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Being able to grasp content and apply it to other situations is important. Also, understanding key words in a text otherwise the entire message may become skewed. Students also become easily distracted. Being able to stay with a text is also important and not giving up.

cberard | Student

Many of my students are struggling readers.  I asked myself what can I do to provide my students with the tools they need to navigate content related non fiction texts.  Most of my students do not have a problem with decoding, but they do not understand the content level vocabulary and demonstrate very low comprehension of these texts.  I decided to teach my science and social studies from the perspective of a reader.  I have a non-fiction readers workshop in which I am teaching my students how to navigate a text structure and how this knowledge will help them in using there comprehension stratigies.  My non-fiction workshop is inquiry based and I use mentor texts and writing about reading to assess how my students are doing in their understanding of the material.  As a result my students are loving their non-fiction time and are showing great imporvement in their ability to navigate these difficult texts sucessfully.

singhdivya84 | Student

In my opinion, the factors/reasons that affect reading (and if taken care of can make reading fun too) are:- 

1- not setting a time-limit. Any activity is drag until it has time-component attached to it. Not knowing 'how much to read' and in 'how much time' can be a big road-block to reading and comprehension.  

2-whether the 'foundation of reading' is strong or not . Reading like anything else is a skill. Just like a child is taught basics of eating, drinking, socializing etc, it is important that the child or the reader is taught about the BASICS OF READING. Techniques like survey, previewing, looking for keywords or main-points etc add spice to reading experience. They can make bring life to a boring write-up too.

2-whether the reader knows 'how to connect with the reading material or not'. No activity is fun if one does not feel connected with it. In the same way, the reader needs to first identify pointers that will help him/her to keep themselves engaged in reading. Every human-being can be motivated either by HOW or WHY. If the reader is not aware of what to do/ how to use what s/he is going to learn in their reading, then reading will be drab. So, use your critical thinking and before embarking on reading think how can I apply what I am learning or how this knowledge gained will help me to better person etc???? These finding helps to build stronger connection with the material. 

3- whether he/she is made aware of the adjustments needed to be made in reading different material.

Last and not the least we cannot deny we are living in a world of distraction like PSPs, TV, Internet etc......however, I feel if the reader knows the basics well then the joy of reading will definitely over-rule the distractions!!!!!!!!!!

happypranav | Student

The biggest factor what i think is not understanding benifits of reading.

Happy thoughts...!

zerokloppy | Student

For me personally, the two biggest factors that affect how I read (or don't) are:

-Whether or not I have interest in the book

-Whether or not I have distractions around me (i.e. Internet, people, TV...etc)

hpus12 | Student

Some factors affecting Reading:

- TV

-Mobile Phone




kazmig | Student

The natural process of reading is brain eye and text any other activety which disturbe this chain effect reading. Some people move their head some move finger which is a bad habit and reducess the speed of reading.

mrmason | Student

I would agree that children need to be surrounded by models of good reading.  They also need to be surrounded  by interesting texts.  Finding what interests a reader is the best way to engage in positive reading.  Some people fill their house with books, but they do not fill their house with spoken language.  Sitting at the dinner table together and telling stories and sharing news from the day helps develop language, which in turn improves reading.

romeroranchero5 | Student
Not all students use Accelerated Reader, but to be a good reader children need to use comprehension strategies beginning with phonics and decoding. Eventually children learn to create connections, predict,infer, decipher the important information, and figure out the author´s message. Many children have reading difficulty because they do not read material that is at their ¨Just Right¨level. I try to explain it as a shoe size, not all kids at the same age wear the same size shoe, neither are they able to comprehend the same books at a certain age. If a reader is reading a book that is too hard they will not understand it, they can attempt to learn from the text, but they will struggle and miss pertinent information. Reading is a process where all the skills necessary must be in place. Children learn to love reading by being read to at home and at school. If parents do not offer a literate environment where reading is perceived as enjoyable children will suffer. There are literally hundreds of Reading Gurus who have their theories about reading. The truth is no one has figured out the magic key to create readers, otherwise every school would have it and all children and adults would be master readers!
shizza123 | Student

some factors affecting reading:

1) TV and computers have really affected our concentration power. Therefore, it becomes difficult to stay in one place and read.

Besides, TV is som much easier to watch that to actually take the time to read a whole book.

We have cut things short... like plays that people used to read are now movies or soap operas... which is why people prefer to watch than to read.


there is a lot about reading in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. You should read it,,,     :)


awesome book!

giorgiana1976 | Student
Except for physical inability to read, so the internal nature (eye problems, dyslexia), and external nature (an unsuitable lighting environment ) and except illiteracy, some of the factors that affect reading, and I say few because the subject itself is exhaustively , are related somehow with motivation. For example, some motivating factors would be: spontaneity in expression, maximum efficiency in the assimilation of information, economical, imagination development , a better understanding of the surrounding world. And as we discussed the motivating factors , it is important to understand and some of the disturbing factors  of the process of reading itself: storing information (it is much easier to store the information if you hear a teacher talking,or if a trainer  get you involved in an activity in a workshop), limitations related to processing system (Reading, you can browse through the information  only mentally (you process the words in your mind)), at most you can see some pictures, is something else to smell things, feel them, hear them, or to see moving images, the need for skills (to read some books you need power of concentration, a rich vocabulary, knowledge-rich about world, some foreign languages).
Reading is not just an intellectual activity, is also a matter of emotions.
krishna-agrawala | Student

We can examine the process of reading from may different angles.

We can think of reading as a physiological process of vision. This aspect of reading and the factors affecting have been studied extensively under the scientific discipline of ergonomics.

We can also look at reading as a process of information collection and learning. Factors that affect these aspects are the nature of the reading material as well as the psychological aspects of individuals such as perception and motivations.

epollock | Student

There are many factors that pertain to the complex process of reading. Environmental factors such as ambient lighting, temperature, comfort, and complexity of the material affects reading greatly. Intrinsic factors such as regression, eye movement, and number of words per fixation also affects reading. It all depends on numerous factors that weigh into whether someone can read well or not.

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