The need for basic literacy skills is vital in order for our nation to continue to operate successfully. With approximately 5 million students, graduating below the National Standard for Literacy and unable to read, we must take a look at the curriculum and teaching techniques to assess whether the current systems need to be revised to better assure ALL students are successful. (Adolescent Literacy: A Policy Research Belief p. 1) The issue begins first with the definition of “Literacy”, and the fact that there are several aspects of literacy which are not currently included in the curriculum. Another issue is the “old” standards which are in place do not support the level of diversity which is now seen in many school systems. Then comes the issue of funding for schools and many schools in better neighborhoods obtain the highest level of private, and public funding and therefore are able to provide the higher level of education. However, in “The Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) Act”, Senator Patty Murray states, “Research also shows that low income children are less likely to have access to high quality, literacy rich environments. These same children perform 40% lower on assessments of literacy achievement even before they start kindergarten.” (Murray) So, whose responsibility is it to ensure the success of the upcoming generations? Will the Federal Government step in to create a better system for the generations to come? There are quite a few solutions which have been used by Teachers, but with such an “old” system in place the issues of diversity, financial demand, inflexibility of the curriculum to assist individual students, classroom sizes increasing on a yearly basis, pressure to achieve sp...
...g Reader to Struggling Reader: High School Students’ Responses to a Cross-Age Tutoring Program.” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. . 49.5 (2006). 378-396. Print.
Literacy, as a concept, has been evolving during the last few decades, presenting itself as a more complex term to comprehend. The deeper understanding of this notion has made the process of learning it, a bigger and more elaborate challenge.
At the national and state levels, research indicates that students experience a declining interest and slowing development in reading from the seventh grade on (Farr, Fay, Myers , & Ginsberg, 1987). They “demonstrate gains in reading during the early years, these gains seem to taper off in the middle and upper grades, and decline during the high school years.” (Chall 4)
“A nation that does not read much does not know much. And a nation that does not know much is more likely to make poor choices in the home, the marketplace, the jury box, and the voting booth. And those decisions ultimately affect the entire nation...the literate and illiterate.” This quote by Jim Trelease accurately describes the state of our society today. The ability to read is so vital to our past, present, and future. However, though we have raised our standards, demanded higher test scores, and increased the pressure on our educators, there is little to show for it. Jim Trelease shares the statistic in his book, The Read-Aloud Handbook, that despite our desperate efforts, there has only been a one-point improvement in reading scores between
Kovas, Y., Voronin, I., Kaydalov, A., Malykh, S. B., Dale, P. S., & Plomin, R. (2013). Literacy and
Flood, J., & Lapp, D. (1995). Broadenening the lens: Toward an expanded conceptualization of literacy. In K.A. Hinchman, D.J. Leu, & C.K. Kinzer (Eds.), Perspectives on literacy research and practice: Forty-fourth yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 1-16). Chicago: National Reading Conference.
As a teacher researcher, I decided to take a look at some reasons why my students were not reading and ways to get them to read more. I have split my readers into three groups; fluent readers, indifferent readers and reluctant readers. First, are the fluent readers, these are the students who enjoy reading and have no comprehension problems. Second is what I call indifferent readers. They, by their own choice, choose not to take part in reading in their spare time. They have no opinion on reading and have little‑or no comprehension problems. Third are the reluctant readers. The reluctant reader chooses not to read for different reasons than the indifferent reader. Often their reason is that they have difficulties in reading and don't know how to read. In other words, they struggle with comprehension. In fact, 80% of learning disabled children have problems with reading, therefore, part of the reluctancy may be due to the learning disability. (Tucker, 1)
Literacy is an important part of life; whether in school or on the job, words are all around. Today, fourteen percent of the United States population does not know how to read (The U.S. Illiteracy Rate Hasn’t Changed In 10 Years). Though fourteen percent seems trivial, when put into a number it is equivalent to 5,460,000 people who cannot read at a functional level in the United States. For literacy rates to rise, our country needs to take a more active role in homes, communities, and in schools. To solve this problem, literacy must be defined, statistics need to be examined, issues which arise due to illiteracy must be recognized, diagnostics of reading problems need to be understood and acknowledged, and solutions should be brought to the
But we in the United States have the financial means and intellectual means to improve, if not to erase, the illiteracy rate. We can do this by maintaining a high standard in literacy instruction. Using the Readers Workshop format throughout the grades will be a starting point to create a new society of fluid readers. Methods like Readers Workshop lend itself to developing a culture of not only competent readers, but readers who love to
There’s no denying that reading is the foundation for all academic achievement (paths, whether they lead you down the road of a doctoral degree or to the door of parenting). It reinforces language and communication, without it you cannot read a menu, bus schedule, recipe, street sign, bank statement or loved ones letter, not to mention phone texts or discovering a favorite book. Reading navigates us through our day-to-day life and fuels our imagination (and opens up worlds of possibilities: new countries, new cultures, and your own history). However, the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), aka “Nation’s Report Card”, revealed 34% of fourth grade students in public schools fell below the basic reading level and one in six students not reading proficiently in the third grade do not graduate high school on time. These staggering statistics along with the accountability reforms of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) have led scholars and educators to look for more effective means of reading instruction and have contributed to the development of alternative, supplemental reading activities and programs to support/bolster literacy improvement. Research shows that the level of reading fluency in third grade is a predictor of future academic achievement. Third grade is when reading transitions from decoding to comprehension of text (Stevens, 2006). These key literacy skills build students’ capacity to learn independently, from all academic fields and social environments (Shanahan, 2010). It is no surprise that reading instruction is such a strong focus of curriculum in pre and early elementary education.
Reading is a difficult task. If it were easy for your student to succeed in their learning, it's likely that it would have already taken place. They will run into roadblocks and difficulties--not to mention the emotional issues that come with the stigma of illiteracy.
While the literature supports that there are a multitude of strategies and methods to increase adolescent literacy rates, the research supports that low achieving readers in the middle grades are difficult to remediate and often require intensive support in order to make noticeable gains in a reasonable amount of time. Research also indicates that most schools do not have the resources allotted in order to provide for these gains at the pace needed to ensure that students will graduate college and career ready. Clearly, the literature and data present there is a need to improve methods and professional development for increasing adolescent literacy rates at both Edge Middle School and across the nation. The literature reviewed also provides a solid set of indications of instructional methods, professional development and teacher reflective activities which need to be committed to daily practice and embedded within lesson planning, data analysis and student