Article > WHAT IS READING?
Reading involves word recognition, comprehension, fluency and motivation. It also involves a cognition process that involves decoding symbols to arrive at a meaning. Reading is an active process of constructing meaning of words. Reading can also be seen as a process of looking at a series of written symbols and getting meaning from them. When we read, we use our eyes to receive written symbols i.e. letters, punctuation marks and spaces, and we use our brain to convert them into words, sentences and paragraphs.
TYPES OF READIND AND WHEN TO USE THEM.
Basically, we have four types of reading. Namely:
Skimming reading is sometimes referred to as gist reading. Skimming may help in order to know what a text is about at its basic level. It does not involve reading for a long period of time.
Scanning reading on the other hand, involves getting your eyes to quickly scuttle across sentences and is used to get just a simple piece of information.
Intensive reading involves spending more time with a written material or text. Intensive reading is more time consuming than scanning or skimming. This type of reading is indeed beneficial to language learners as it helps them to understand vocabulary by deducing the meaning of words in context. It also helps retention of information for long periods of time. Students therefore are encouraged to engage more in intensive reading especially when preparing for an examination.
Extensive reading involves reading for pleasure or entertainment because there is an element of enjoyment in this type of reading.
HOW TO CULTIVATE THE LOVE OF READING IN STUDENTS.
Here are lots of suggestions for how any teacher, teaching any subject can participate in this mission, and how parents and administrators can help.
- Read. First simple step! If we are going to encourage children to read we need to do it too. Read for pleasure, information, instructions, connecting with others and so on.
Read a little more than you’ve been reading lately.
- Share your reading experiences. Share with colleagues, friends and students. Tell them what you’ve been reading, what you’ve gained or learned from the texts and what you recommend.
- Invite students to socialize around reading. Set up book clubs, reading groups, literature circles. Many students (especially boys) need to interact with each other through texts. It greatly enhances their comprehension and makes it so much more enjoyable.
- Organize a Read-a-Thon. A beautiful event that parents and administrators can take a lead on setting up. Students can be able to wear PJs, come to school with their pillows and different kinds of animals to school, and they will be invited to re-read their favorite books or select a ‘’challenge book.’’ Parents supply snacks, teachers and administrators read too.
- Take a field trip. This is another way to make reading social and exciting. Visit your local library, a university library or a bookstore. It’s not about checking out or buying books - it’s about being surrounded with thousands of books, touching their gorgeous pages, seeing the world of possibility in print, salivating over what there is to know and explore. Many families often take weekend trips to explore different bookstores in the area. They make it an adventure and talk about what constitutes a ‘’good bookstore;’’ it’s just fun. This is another event that parents can organize and administrators can support or encourage.
- Listen to audio books. Invite students to listen to them; play short passages. To me, audio books ‘’count’’ as reading. Why you’re not developing decoding or fluency skills, you are acquiring vocabulary, applying comprehension strategies, enjoying stories or getting information.
- Invite authors to speak. Another activity that can be supported by teachers and parents. Children can be greatly impacted from hearing an author (if possible, especially one from a similar background to theirs) speak about reading and writing.
- Make connections between reading and other issues. Help students see the wider, historical and political context of the importance of reading to enhance their appreciation.
- Reward them for reading so well.
- Read the same book your children are reading.
- Plan a family project that will require some research.
- Select books featuring familiar and loveable characters.
- Encourage them to author a story of their own.
- Avoid reading as punishment.
- Teach them to be gentle with books.
- Ensure that reading is a family activity.
- Encourage them to read a book and watch the movie.
- Teach reading strategies. Finally, I believe that all teachers, in every content area, should be responsible for teaching reading. Text genres are different in every content area. Teachers or parents need not to receive PhD in how to teach reading strategies. Children won’t enjoy reading if they can’t do it. No one loves doing something that’s really hard.
Readers are leaders therefore students must be taught to cultivate the right attitude for reading and develop the passion for it.