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The Reading Process (page 2)

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Why Is Reading So Important?

According to Marion Sanders (2001), "everyone believes in the importance and value of reading. Reading competency is essential for school success and almost all employment; inadequate reading ability puts youths at high risk for school dropout followed by failure to develop satisfying, self-sufficient, and productive lives"  (p. 1).

Y, grade 2 fluent reader, shares, "I like to read...if you don't read now, when you grow up, you won't know how to read."

According to J, grade 2 struggling reader, "I'll get smart- that's the best part of reading.

But J, who is struggling with fluency and word recognition says the hardest part of reading is "when you don't know the words." This is where reading breaks down for individuals with dyslexia.

Individuals with Dyslexia Have Specific Difficulties with Fluent Reading and the Phonological Components of Language

According to L, grade 2 student who evidences many correlating symptoms of dyslexia, "the hardest part about reading is the words; I don't like to read because I don't know how to read."

L is "stuck" at the word level because he lacks a basic sight vocabulary and phonological skills/awareness of the alphabetic principle. For L, problems also emerge in spelling, writing, and listening. ADHD also seems to be a presenting problem. However, L has excellent interpersonal skills with age- and grade-appropriate verbal communications. He is also particularly adept in art. How can it be that L is virtually a nonreader, probably dyslexic, but gifted in other areas? With extraordinary advances in medical technology and refined research methodologies during the decade of the 1990s continuing into the twenty-first century, we can now answer this question with a high level of certainty- there is a neurological dysfunctioning in the brain. Understanding the reading process at the cortical level, and how dyslexic brain functioning differs from that of proficient readers, will lead us to better interventions.

Balanced Literacy Programs

Students with dyslexia, then, require comprehensive, balanced, and intensive literacy support programs that cover all of the five essential components of good reading instruction:

  1. Phonemic awareness
  2. Phonics (with systematic/explicit instruction)
  3. Vocabulary development
  4. Reading fluency, including oral skills
  5. Text comprehension/strategic reading. (Guidance for the Reading First Program, 2002)

Intervention program recommendations found in this book then will address all elements of good reading instruction while consistent with the learning disabilities and dyslexia research and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110) with its legislative mandates/initiatives.

The goal of No Child Left Behind is to ensure that all students read by grade 3 and then advance through the grades achieving their full academic potentials. This includes students with reading disabilities.

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