The Secret of Becoming a Good Reader
What is the secret of becoming a good reader? Think back to your early days of schooling. What made you a good reader? Was it the phonics instruction, the workbook activities, the oral reading you did in your reading groups? Although these may have been helpful, the key to becoming a proficient reader is to read. Like swimming, diving, golfing, typing, writing, riding a bike, and other endeavors, practice—and lots of it—leads to proficiency. Students show significant gains when they read for as few as 10 extra minutes a day (Anderson, 1996). And the poorest readers make the most gains. Below-average readers gain as much as 2½ years when they read for 60 minutes a day. This includes reading done in school and at home (Paul, 1996). Wide reading also leads to improvement in writing, spelling, and overall language development (Krashen, 1993).
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