Making children hate reading is a book by John Halt. It shows the way he teached and his opinion of others and the method he used to help the children with their literacy skills. In John Halt’s book there are some methods he used that I don’t agree with and some that I do agree with. I will give detailed accounts of both teaching methods I agree with and one’s I don’t agree with the I will let you decide whether you agree with his teaching or not. In the beginning John Halt tells us that he never gave one of his students the opportunity to say what they really thought about a book or magazine.
The children persuaded him to tell him what he wants to hear, so that when he asks them a question they can answer it and receive approval. He also gives the students tests about the books and vocabulary lists which they have to learn, also that if they came across a word they didn’t know to look it up in the dictionary and not to bother him. His nephew was given a book to read which in john halts opinion was bad book. Then the teacher proceeded to make sure they children under stood every single word and the meaning of sed words.
John agreed with this method and used it on his own students. John halt began to question some of the teaching methods. With regards to looking up words you do not know in the dictionary, he was beginning to think twice. He had never looked up a word that he didn’t know in the dictionary he merely continued reading hard books and eventually gathered the meanings of the words he did not understand. As John taught a verity of age groups in the same mental area he started to develop theories about why students reading and writing suffer. His theory, Teachers.
Or specifically English teachers. When a student is forced to read aloud it makes them nervous. They then stumble when reading and sometimes forget how to pronounce a word. Then the students start to laugh and the teacher makes them feel embarrassed. If this happens a few times then that person is put of reading and will sometimes refuse altogether to read out loud. For example when I was five years old I started school, and I was really happy, I couldn’t wait. When I got to English I was put in an advanced class because my vocabulary was extremely good for my age.
I was told to read and I read well, until I came across a word that I didn’t know how to say it and all the other kids in the classroom started laughing at me. That made me feel really bad and at such a vulnerable age having that humiliation changed everything about school life for me. Ever since then I do not like reading aloud it makes me nervous. I can read aloud when im on my own but when it comes to speaking in front of people it really puts be back. Even now I steel have difficulty with speaking aloud an example of this is this year in English.
We were told to talk about a character from the play Macbeth. To explain what their role in the play was. We were to sit in front of the class. I had planned out a really good piece of work but everyone else did something different and I’m used to being told of if I do something different so I jumped the notes and tried to make it up as I went along. Alas this did not work my nerves got the better of me and I got a lousy grade. This story show that it can happen only one time and it can change everything to do with speaking.
John Halt realized this and tried to change it. He tried having the students that were nervous read aloud more often but sadly this did not work either. He was stumped. Then BAM. It hit him. If he lets the students read books that they want to read then maybe this will help then and guess what. It did. The holidays were coming up and John decided to try something new. Something that no other English teacher has done before. He told his students to read as many books as they wanted and he would not be testing them on it. So just enjoy reading books.
He also said that if you don’t like a book red the first forty pages to give the writer a chance to get his story going and then If you don’t like the characters and you don’t care what happens to them put the book down and find a book you do want to read. He had found a way to help students come over their fear of reading aloud but the students still suffered from writing. Not being able to write what they were thinking down. John Halt devised a way to deal with this too. He had a new class and decided now was the right time to try out his theory.
He split his class into groups and told them to write about anything they wanted as long as it wasn’t just the same word over and over again for the whole page. This worked very well. All the students including the not so bright students to come up with incredible stories. Their favorite stories were written by one of their class mates who had been writing a lot of his stories about things that happened to John Halt, they all found them very amazing and humorous stories. One day he decided to give them a topic to write about instead, and of course they all wined until they found out what they were going to write about.
They were all enthusiastic that they would be writing about the day the school burnt down. John then heard about a professor had come up with another idea, which he decided to bring to hi classroom. He told his students that they were to write about anything non stop for twenty minuets, and if they got stuck keep writing the sentence before until an idea comes to you. This of course was a genus idea and it did indeed help students with their writing and although John Halt did not know it at the time, all the students handwriting and their spelling had improved just by helping them think for themselves.
If you agree with the harsh way of teaching with all the x-raying books and what not and telling them to look it up in the dictionary so that they don’t bother you then I have a piece of advice for you. DON’T BECOME A TEACHER!!! If you agree with the kind helpful way of teaching good on you. Its people like you that make are country great. You picked the right side to be on, because all you old folk who still believe in the harsh stuff, be warned we are coming to get you. It’s your chouse of course, just letting you know what will happen if you pick the dark side. MWA HA HA HA HA.
Courtney from Study Moose
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