Thursday, August 19, 2010

Topic: A Problem with Reading

Purpose of this blog: Reviews of interesting ideas in past professional English education journals.

10-second review: No one reads.

Title: “An Approach to Teaching Oral Reading to Eighth Graders. JM Romjue. Journal of Reading (December 1978), 221-223.

The Problem:
“Western society seems to be moving away from private reading both as entertainment and as a source of information. Instead, people now turn to movies and television for entertainment and to computerized sources of information, requiring little more than pushing a button. In the face of such attractive, effortless competition, it is becoming increasingly difficult to motivate young people to read.”

Comment: The author frames the question well. How do we motivate kids to read again? Only she doesn’t answer that question. She, instead, writes about an oral reading activity. What is an answer, any answer, to this question that grows more important every day as devices like cell phones, computer games, Ipods, Tweets, etc. create increasingly distracting activities to young people. How do we show students that books are different from information. How do we show students how to use books. How do we show them that books are a source of ideas and worth taking the time to read? RayS.

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