The Reading Process

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When a child is speaking many words and using them as an integral part of his personality, he is ready to read them. In teaching reading to young children, word selection is often the first place where we go wrong. We pull words from thin air and try to put them into the child. Often we make matters worse by putting these strange words into printed context outside the realm of the child's experience and expecting him to read--and he cannot. Children can learn to read any word they speak. One of the greatest hoaxes in all of educational pedagogy is that which says that reading vocabulary must be developed in a predeter¬mined logical sequence. This simply is not the case. Linguists tell us that when a child comes to school he has all the…show more content…
Reading is the active process of constructing meaning from words that have been coded in print. Printed and spoken words are meaningful to the young child only to the extent where his field of experience overlaps that of the author of the printed text. The reader learns from a book only if he is able to comprehend the printed symbols and rearrange them into vivid experiences in his mind. A child’s ability to think, to rationalize, and to conceptualize makes it possible for him or her to accept new ideas from a printed page without actually experienc¬ing the new idea. He or she must however, possess the knowledge of each symbol that helps make up the new idea. Ideally, the teacher would show a picture of an object and, through discus¬sion, build the understandings necessary to give children a correct visual image of the object. Because of the unusual shape of some words (e. g. kangaroo) chil¬dren memorized them quickly, but nothing is usually learned until the words take on meaning. The teacher should give the words meaning by using the children's experiences. Experience combined with the power of imagery will make it possible for children to acquire new understandings, concepts, and learn¬ings from their reading of each new word. Reading is not word calling; it is getting the meaning of the printed word from the page. The teaching of reading means assisting children to obtain those skills needed to
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