Location: England UK and Philippines
Positions: Parent, Classroom Teacher Boy who could not read
Getting boys to read – is it worth it
Yes it is. The ability to read is as important today as it ever was. Some people believe that the need for good basic skills has lessened as technology has improved, that television, with all its power and indeed its role in providing information, has reduced the need for reading. Certainly there are many people who don’t buy books for pleasure and enjoyment, and some who rarely read a newspaper or visit a library.
In some ways this may not really matter. Being able to read fluently is very different from wanting to read at all. In so many aspects of our life we still need to read, a need technology cannot replace. Indeed in some ways it makes it more essential. As more everyday activities become automated, so reading becomes more important.
The choice of texts used to develop reading skills at each level is crucial. The key is to use a variety of texts whose type and purpose cover the range identified in the standard, even though they will necessarily be in simplified form at lower levels.
What learners do with texts must be both meaningful in terms of helping them achieve the standard and in helping them become effective learners. The texts used must include those relevant to the interests of the individual, but there must also be texts that enable the learner to apply new skills in new contexts – effectively to develop transferable skills.
If this doesn’t happen, they won’t get any better at coping with literacy demands, because there won’t be the cumulative learning that results in ‘great leaps forward’.
As parents and teachers it is our duty to help them learn. Say to them.
“Come on boys, if you don’t learn to read from the start, then this could be one of your problems in the future. For example.
This would be awful when your grandson says to you ‘read me a story, grandad’, and you can’t do it. You always want to get out of it – ‘I’m busy, I’m doing something’. You always want to make an excuse.”
Location: Rhode Island, USA
I love the article Keith and it is so right. I have actually watched a few programs on men who could not read and it is sad. The one thing I have seen is when I have had the opportunity to meet such individuals that is the one thing they wish for.
I cannot even imagine going through life not being able to read. I have seen the embarrassment that goes along with thi sand my heart goes out to them.
The thing that scares me is with the budget cuts in the schools I am afraid the matter may get worse before it gets better. With less teachers teaching and more kids struggling.
Positions: Parent, Classroom Teacher
“The key is to use a variety of texts whose type and purpose cover the range identified in the standard, even though they will necessarily be in simplified form at lower levels.”
VARIETY is always good so as not to numb the palate of a person’s taste, especially for a boy. Boys can be easily attracted to things that are new which could be a good material for us educators to dwell upon. Use variety in our subject matter, in the way we teach so boys remain interested in what we tell them.
~~~a stone is not carved by force but by constant friction~~~
Location: Setif, Algeria
Positions: Classroom Teacher Administrator, English Teacher
Thanks Keith, I love this article I think it can help so many people, I really like what you said about “As parents and teachers it is our duty to help them learn. Say to them.” This is what’s I’m trying to do every single day.