Reading is a complex, interactive process – a sort of visual decoding that involves making meaning from print by interpreting it within a particular context (New South wales Department of School Education, 1997). It is a fundamental skill for success in society and an essential part of literacy. In the Australian curriculum, literacy is defined as “the knowledge and skills students need to access, understand, analyse and evaluate information, make meaning, express thoughts and emotions, present ideas and opinions, interact with others and participate in activities at school and in their lives beyond school” (Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority, 2016). It involves a person drawing on previous knowledge and connecting it with “variables such as the reader’s background, the classroom context, reading materials, developmental levels, teacher’s instructional styles, and learning goals” (Blair, Rupley and Nichols, 2007, p.437). Reviewing research on how children learn to read a...
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...tudents is reading is a core activity of schooling and if not done well, students begin to withdraw from the whole reading process. “It is active and successful engagement that promotes persistence, and willingness to read that then gives students the practice they need” (Bayetto, 2013, p.19). In the case where students have no background knowledge or experience, the impact of leaving students to discover these skills with minimal guidance from the teacher leads to a wide range or unnecessary literacy gaps. Bayetto (2013, p. 51) also notes that “there are no guarantees they (children) will readily generalise and apply them in other contexts without educators’ careful facilitation”. It comes down to “explicitly teach(ing) students what they need to know” (Roseshine, 1995; Taylor, Peterson, Pearson & Rodriguez, 2002 as cited in Blair, Rupley and Nichols, 2007, p. 434).
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