The first formative years is where every learning starts. Rudimentary skills take root in order to make the next years and decades of education surmountable. Without properly laying the foundations, following the preset curriculum will be simply overwhelming.
Recently, NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Studies reported on inadequacies in teaching reading skills from the educators’ side. The gist points that teachers must recognise language as a system and apply this theory in the classroom setting for effective knowledge and skills transfer.
Reading as a System of Skills
One of the basic skills that should be taught to a child is reading. According to Reading Rockets, a national multimedia literacy initiative, reading is a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency and motivation. It is a cognitive process that involves recognising, decoding and associating symbols to meanings among other skills.
Teaching reading is a rocket science, as a famous educator said. There are many materials to choose from online. RICGroup.com.au, a primary teacher resource centre in Australia, offers a range of reading skills books and teaching materials. To start introducing reading to primary pupils, a phonics book is useful to help associate symbols to sounds. Then there are cards and materials to aid in teaching semiosis or the association of symbols to meanings and comprehension to give meaning to the whole text in the form of sentences and paragraphs.
Resources for Teachers
Teachers, nowadays, are getting support everywhere. There are reading advocacy organisations that can be tapped for wider reading resources. Instructional materials in many forms – media print and non-print, and electronic resources – are also available.
Reading has also been revolutionized as more and more creative ideas regarding teaching are delivered through the Internet. For example, in developing comprehension, the words in the sentence can be reduced by 50% or words can be magnified and explored to come up with related words and synonyms.
Establishing mastery in each sub-skill leads to the total acquisition of reading skills. It is in this way reading becomes rocket science. And this what makes the next steps in literacy possible.