Why reading is important
Why do you read? What are all of the reasons that reading is important to you as a teacher and as a person? What advantages have you gained in life because of your ability to read fluently and to understand a variety of different text structures? Where would you be without reading? Perhaps your answers to these questions are much like mine. I read because I enjoy it. Like most voracious readers, I live vicariously through the stories that I pick up. My mind is energized and challenged by the universal themes present in literature.
Reading has also opened many doors for me. College was a breeze because the difficult text presented was easily understood. I’ve advanced in my career due to my public speaking and writing abilities. Those skills come naturally to anyone having spent half their waking hours in a book, immersed in wonderful language.
To be sure, the reasons for reading are numerous. You can probably detail them as well as I can—but are they apparent to your students? Can the children of your classes answer any of my questions, or do they read simply out of obligation? Is filling out weekly reading logs something more than a task to them? Do they itch to complete book reviews and to participate in literature circles, or are they going through the motions, satisfying the requirements of your class?
Reading is as essential to your students as it has been for you, but few of them know why. Many have lost (or never had to begin with) the joy that good books can provide, and they do not understand how great a loss that is. What’s more, the majority of the adults in their lives have never fully explained the benefits of reading. It is as if the importance of reading is a secret revealed only to those who discover it alone.
If reading is going to be reinvented as a worthwhile pursuit in your classroom, this secrecy has to end! It is your job as a teacher to help your children recognize the role that reading plays in their life, and Kelly Gallagher’s book Reading Reason s can help you to do that. Gallagher, a long-time high school English teacher in California , realized one day that few of his students could fully explain the role that reading plays in their lives. Together, he and his students began to outline specific reasons that reading matters. What they came up with was the following list of nine Reading Reasons :
1. Reading is rewarding.
2. Reading builds a mature vocabulary.
3. Reading makes you a better writer.
4. Reading is hard, and “hard” is necessary.
5. Reading makes you smarter.
6. Reading prepares you for the world of work.
7. Reading well is financially rewarding.
8. Reading opens the door to college and beyond.
9. Reading arms you against oppression.
Gallagher then took these ideas and created 40 motivational mini-lessons designed to convince middle and high school students of the importance of reading in their lives. Those mini-lessons have become the core ofReading Reasons .Each lesson is designed to take between 5 and 20 minutes to teach. They share convincing information about each reading reason and can be implemented in classrooms across the curriculum. Complete with specific directions and all related materials, these reading “booster shots” (as Gallagher describes them) are approachable and easy to use.
Reading Reasons also includes a collection of valuable documents in its appendix. Lists of books appropriate for middle and high school students, samples of letters that can be sent to parents, and reading records that Gallagher has used in his career are all provided for teachers interested in making reading a central part of their classrooms. In the end, no matter what we teach, each of us wants to instill an appreciation for reading in our students. Reading Reasons helps to make that possible. It is an essential resource that teachers of middle and high school children will find immediately rewarding!
Other reasons why reading is important
I. In today world we receive so much information via radio, television and multimedia experiences yet none of these avenues has the ability to educate as the fundamental skill of reading.
When examining how well a nation is doing and how likely its economic situation is improve so often the literacy rate is included. Often this figure is a reflection not only of educational levels but has a follow on effect of economic power, government administration, corruption and health. When this figure is low the country is more likely to be an economic backwater, government is likely to be poor or a dictatorship, corruption widespread and a lack of universities, doctors and other experts. When one looks at countries in the African continent often the literacy rate is a good reflection of quality of lifestyle.
Countries that have recently experience improving economic fortunes have increased their populations education level.The easiest way to educate any problem is to teach them the skill of reading. If you can read you have open to you a world of knowledge. It was true in Abraham Lincoln’s day when he said he taught himself through reading as did many other early American pioneers. Although they were often in difficult situations their ability to read meant they could educate themselves to overcome problems.
Even in this day of multimedia reading is still the most essential skill to acquire knowledge. The internet has meant that information is freely available to anyone who can log on. However to absorb, teach and learn that information and apply reading is required. With the advent of websites and books reading has continued to increase in importance.
II. It is a well-known fact that when there were no televisions or computers, reading was a primary leisure activity. People would spend hours reading books and travel to lands far away-in their minds. The only tragedy is that, with time, people have lost their skill and passion to read. There are many other exciting and thrilling options available, aside from books. And that is a shame because reading offers a productive approach to improving vocabulary and word power. It is advisable to indulge in at least half an hour of reading a day to keep abreast of the various styles of writing and new vocabulary.
It is observed that children and teenagers who love reading have comparatively higher IQs. They are more creative and do better in school and college. It is recommended that parents to inculcate the importance of reading to their children in the early years. Reading is said to significantly help in developing vocabulary, and reading aloud helps to build a strong emotional bond between parents and children. The children who start reading from an early age are observed to have good language skills, and they grasp the variances in phonics much better.
Reading helps in mental development and is known to stimulate the muscles of the eyes. Reading is an activity that involves greater levels of concentration and adds to the conversational skills of the reader. It is an indulgence that enhances the knowledge acquired, consistently. The habit of reading also helps readers to decipher new words and phrases that they come across in everyday conversations. The habit can become a healthy addiction and adds to the information available on various topics. It helps us to stay in-touch with contemporary writers as well as those from the days of yore and makes us sensitive to global issues.