In order for a child to excel in school they need to be well versed in reading therefore; I believe that it is vital for all children to learn to read. Not only should reading be a fun and enjoyable experience but something that influences the child to succeed in all subject areas. Reading is an integral part of life that needs to be mastered. A child can master the basics of reading in the early years and should be learned at that time due to the aggravation and frustration of learning those skills later on, as he/she gets older.
Although there are many children and adults alike that hate to read it is our job to spark an interest in these children so they will find reading enjoyable. All of the aspects of reading should be equal and balanced in order for the child to learn. Although I loved reading when I was younger, I still had to ingrain this behavior into my own children so they could see reading could be enjoyable and that it was an everyday part of life.
One must be aware of the IRA standards for reading professionals before they can begin to deal with the actually reading components and these standards state that not only are professionals suppose to demonstrate knowledge of the major components of reading (phonemic awareness, word identification and phonics, vocabulary and background knowledge, fluency, comprehension strategies, and motivation) but also how all of these standards are the very core in fluent reading. Wide ranges of curriculum materials are needed for effective reading instruction to address all learners and their abilities, which is also stated in the IRA standards.
In addition, the many cultural and linguistic backgrounds should be addressed for successful learning. Children need to know that later in life reading is a big component in trying to apply for jobs, reading road maps, and state road signs among other things. One component that is vital to reading is comprehension because a child needs to be able to comprehend exactly what they are reading to understand what is required of them. “Put Reading First” says good readers are purposeful and active which relates to this aspect.
A great deal of research has shown that instruction in comprehension can help children understand the text being read, remember the text and be able to restate it, and be able to communicate what they have read to their peers. In our changing world today, we find that there are so many ways to teach children to read. The one approach that makes practical sense to me is the balanced approach because it is my belief that a child has to have several ways to learn the reading material being presented. Phonics and phonemic awareness are great ways to help a child to read along with sight words and repetition.
“Put Reading First” states that children who have phonemic awareness skills are more likely to have an easier time learning to read and spell than those who do not possess these skills. Also, phonics instruction is essential when a child is learning to read for the very first time. Again, research shows us that in order for our children to read and benefit from phonics the child must have phonemic awareness. Fluency is another factor that comes into play because when students struggle to read they have trouble comprehending the text.
Fluency is accomplished only when a child practices constantly so he/she can become proficient because it does not come automatically to them. Furthermore, we have to understand that vocabulary instruction plays a key role in fluent reading and comprehension. These children need a solid base to be able to understand what they are reading and having the background knowledge of vocabulary instruction helps enhance reading for them. Just some of these practices are shared book experiences, language experiences, read alouds, invented spellings and environmental print that can provide them with a way to enhance his/her reading ability.
Interactive theories, transactive theories and subskill theories are theories that can be beneficial in planning reading instruction. Subskill theories are a set of subskills that students must master and integrate. We need to understand that these skills are significant because beginning readers may read slow and choppy and this decreases comprehension. Next, we have interactive theories, which depict reading as a combination of both reader-based and text-based. It is a process that is good because it allows the reader to make predictions about how to process the material through a process called top-down processing.
All of these theories allow the reader to process material about the print and access background knowledge through a process called bottom-up processing. Lastly, transactive theories are based on Rosenblatt’s belief that reading is a transaction. I believe all these theories and components for reading provide the basis for reading instruction. In order for a child to be a good reader one should have a very rigorous background of reading instruction and have a good deal of knowledge of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency so they will become better readers.