Reading Versus Language Development.

 

Reading is not a natural process. In contrast to oral language development, reading does not emerge naturally from interactions with parents and other adults, even in print-rich environments. For most children, reading requires systematic and explicit instruction, although the degree of explicitness, directiveness, intensity and duration of instruction requires developing specific reading components that would vary across children.

– from the 1999 Keys to Successful Learning Summit, sponsored
by the National Center for Learning Disabilities in partnership with
the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs
and the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.

 

I think that what has happened is that we’ve really gotten away from teaching about language because English itself is a difficult language… Instead of sitting kids down and teaching them the rules to break the code, we instead started focusing strictly on comprehension.  There’s no question that comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading, but it’s also true that because English is alphabetic, you need to know the code so that you can attack words that you’ve never seen before.

- Margie Gillis, Ed.D.
Senior Scientist, Haskins Laboratory, Yale University;
Founder/President, LiteracyHOW