The Texas Reading Initiative has outlined a fairly comprehensive statement on the value of reading and the significance of infusing the habit of literacy among the young. Besides teaching/conducting a reading program per se, the quality, depth and integrity of such teaching methodology is equally important. This is the main reason why most reading advocates have bannered the discourse of a “research based” reading program rather than the traditional teaching methodology for teaching children how to read. It works on the emerging assumption that teaching the young is delicate enough for the reading teacher to adapt a research-based method.
The paper on Components of a Research-based Reading Program, part of the Red Book Series by the Texas Education Agency, outlines the fundamental attributes of the recent development of teaching reading among the young. It is composed of a deeper understanding of the recesses of a child’s mind, its formation, development and predictable growth (Hilgard, 2001). Generally, the essential attributes of these Twelve Essential Components comprise an advanced understanding of adult-child training and communication: the Teacher-Trainer, the channel and the recipient (the child).
These maybe the basic attributes of ordinary communication but an analysis of the paper can reveal that the communication framework is actually the basis of this research-based program, not to mention that the concept of code interpretation and language are involved and mentioned in that paper. The two ends of this communication curve, the Teacher-trainer and the child are the live working elements of this reading program, which makes the simplest components. What is generally interesting in these Twelve Components is the channel element and how the child decodes the communication.
The paper frequently discusses the concept of language and how the child perceives instruction from the teacher, which is its whole point. This is the brunt/meat of the teaching methodology, where the paper discusses “opportunities” and “strategies” to aid child development. Such things are stated on the paper as to how to exploit the nature of the language channel, where educators strategically use the oral component to understand the written language-the act of reading.
According to the authors, by the oral way, the child is directed into opportunities for appreciating sounds, its differences and “referents”, a concept used by linguists. They say that children may read aloud and “understand their building blocks” (www. tea. com), which we assume as auditory building blocks. This may imply that to reinforce one’s reading, one has to learn how to speak it first, using the auditory logic of the language’s construction, thus utilizing the nature of the child’s brain to absorb these “building blocks” into communicative memory (www.
childdevelopmentinfo. com). And of course, there is the written format to contend with. This is where the recipient can visually decode using some of the strategies. Decoding in this context means visually playing with the language construction (“wordplay” as the paper says) through “blending” and what they call “word families” and writing patterns. On a lighter note, there is nothing new about the research-based reading program offered by the Texas Reading Initiative.
The allegedly “new” methodology works much like teaching a foreign language to students in the collegiate level, but in the child’s case, localized and specialized for a kindergarten or grade-schooler. The same opportunities and teaching strategies have existed in basic foreign language class in university, and child psychologists seem to find it effective if made easier for children. Reference: Child Development Institute. Reading Improvement. Retrieved January 27, 2008, from http://www. childdevelopmentinfo. com/store/reading-improvement. htm. Hilgard, E. R. (2001). Introduction to Psychology. New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
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