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At a very tender age, when I first learned to read words, I was excited because I was now a reader but was I really reading or just lifting words off paper? Even though this is necessary for reading, reading is more complex than just recognizing words. The reader has to make sense of the words base and their context. While engaged in reading, the prior knowledge is activated along with personal connection, ideas, and opinions. Unfortunately, children will develop reading problems if they do get the necessary stills that will allow them to function on a higher level and succeed in life. Jennings, Caldwell and Lerner (2010) mentioned that it is said that “Children must learn to read so that later they can read to learn” (pg. 4). Therefore reading is the foundation that children need to be successful in life.
Jennings, Caldwell and Lerner (2010) advised that to help children read better and develop a love for reading, fall on the laps of the teaching professionals since they are the planner and implementation of instructional services (pg. 3). It is understandable that even though there are different levels of readers, the ultimate goal is for teachers to create good readers in children. Jennings, Caldwell and Lerner (2010) iterate that reading is making sense of text. The reader generates his or her own mental version of what is been read (pg. 13). In my field experience, I have seen children who could read any word off paper but had no opinion of what is going on in the story. I have also experienced teachers getting frustrated when their students are not able to decipher or decode words in context or make connection to text. Jennings, Caldwell and Lerner (2010) talked about the three elements of reading. There is the reader, the reading material and the reading situation. The reader brain is super active while making sense of the material and creating a version that will fit into the reader scheme (pg. 13). As I think back on Jennings, Caldwell and Lerner’s observation, I can remember reading about a Niagara Falls at a young age in Jamaica, West Indies and not knowing what Niagara Falls looks like, I construction in my mind that it looked like Dunn’s River fall in Jamaica. Years later I realized Dunn’s River Fall cannot be compare to Niagara Falls.
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According to Jennings, Caldwell and Lerner (2010) involved in the process of learning to be good readers are word recognition and reading comprehension. Word recognition involves includes that of blending, applying sight words and Syntactic cues and sit under the umbrella of phonological awareness and reading fluency. Reading comprehension is the process of understanding what is been read and sits under the umbrella of reading vocabulary and reading for enjoyment (pg 10). These components will allow students to recognize words quickly and effortless and with enjoyment.
Of all the skills children learn in school, reading is the most important but unfortunately children are sometimes faced with barriers that if not dealt with properly will prevent them from overcoming reading difficulties. Jennings, Caldwell and Lerner (2010) stated that Reading difficulties can be a problem of emotional, neurological, cognitive, and can even be associated with intelligence and intellectual factors. They went on to say that the environment which includes the home, school, social and cultural environment can also influence reading. They pointed out neurological is how the brain perform during reading and cognitive is the mental actions. Any deficit in these areas could interfere with how students interpret information that is presented to them (pg 23-24). Since reading is a vital skill to success, it is important that children who are faced with reading difficulties get evaluated early and given the necessary help to overcome such difficulties.