Thursday, September 11, 2008

There's gotta be a better way to capture reluctant readers

And there is -- check out Melanie's September 8 article in the Vancouver Sun, "Why so many are reluctant readers, and what to do about it."

Here's how the article begins:

When Bobby O. stood up to read aloud, we all groaned. The next minutes, as Bobby stumbled painfully over texts by Sir Charles G.D. Roberts or some other venerable Canadian writer, were agony. We were supposed to read along silently, so our eyes would be trapped on every syllable that Bobby mangled. Unsure of what he was reading, Bobby kept his voice to a dull, ambiguous monotone. Eventually the teacher would cut short Bobby’s turn at reading aloud, and pass with ill-concealed relief to the next student.

Bobby, everyone shrugged, was just not a natural reader. Educators would invent the term “reluctant reader” to define kids who reached the intermediate grades and floundered over texts their classmates absorbed with ease. In recent years, however, educators have reconsidered the case of the reluctant reader.

Maybe it’s not that these kids don’t take to reading. Maybe the way reading is taught doesn’t take to them.

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