- Instant Reader
- August 29, 2017, 10:48 pm
The ability to read proficiently is a fundamental skill that affects the learning experiences and school performance of children and adolescents. Students who are competent readers, as measured by their performance on reading tests, are more likely to perform well in other subjects, such as math and science (Hyde, 2007). Children who struggle with reading and reading comprehension also often have deficits in spoken language (Myers and Botting, 2008). Students with reading difficulties are much less likely to be academically engaged (Guthrie and Wigfield, 2000). Reading achievement predicts the likelihood of graduating from high school (Christie, 2007) and attending college (Zaff et. al. 2003).
It is surprising that the inability of children to read at a proficient level is not something unique to our country. I have done extensive research comparing and evaluating both past and latest reading lessons, instructions, approaches, student performances and government statistics.
All the results and findings lead to one common thing - whether you are in a third or first world country, problems on reading remain the same. Poor performance of students in school boils down to their poor reading comprehension skills.
In the Philippines it is so alarming that incoming High School students were found out to have reading skills that of a Grade Four or early Grade Five level. (Juan Miguel Luz, 2007).
They are grossly deficient in basic and higher order thinking skills. Globally, every government wonders and tries hard to find out the root to the problem.
It‘s totally puzzling to know that after the US Federal government has spent $4 Billion Dollars on READING FIRST which was part of the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND LAW, no difference in reading comprehension scores was seen among students who did and did not participate in the program.
Institute of Education Science (US) Director Russ Whitehurst said the study focused mainly on reading comprehension, rather than other aspects of reading such as whether kids grasp phonemes, because comprehension is the ultimate goal when one is taught how to read. (posted September 15, 2008 Issue of The Sable Verity)
Back in the Philippines, 97.5% literacy rate is quite an impressive figure but if we will take a look at the result of the 2012 National Achievement Test (NAT), it shows that Filipino 3rd grade students have problem understanding what she/he is reading whether the text is written in English or Filipino.
In 2012, the government allocated 1,000,000 pesos for the National Capital region which composed of more than 4,000,000 school children for its Every Child a Reader Program. However, P25.00 cannot even buy a good book for a young reader to explore and enjoy.
Enjoyment of reading is associated with reading success. In an international study involving 15-year-olds from 14 developed countries, students reported they read daily for pleasure achieved reading scores higher, by the equivalent of one-and-a-half years of schooling, than their peers who did not. (PISA, 2012)
Based on the discouraging figures, should you be worried about it?
A study conducted by a non-profit organization located in Manila demonstrates that a short-term reading program that provides age-appropriate reading material and trains teachers to use it can have a significant effect on the reading ability of primary school children.
Thus, amidst the growing concerns on low performance in reading and reading comprehension among Filipino students, there is still hope after all. The good news is that the Instant Reader Program has already established a systematic intervention that would allow Filipino and non-Filipino children read English as early as possible and become proficient readers even before entering their first grade.
About the Author
Hi! I’m Teacher Vicki the author and founder of Instant Reader™ . My 25 years in the teaching field continues to strengthen my conviction that an effective and proper reading foundation indeed gives any child a significant edge not just in school but life in totality. Children who are early readers are lovers of learning. They lead, they stand out and are able to unleash their full potentials.
I want to hear from you. Your thoughts, comments and suggestions are very much welcome. It’s always great to keep on learning from each other.
( BS Development Communication, UP Los Banos; M.A.in Education, UP Diliman; Diploma in Dyslexia , Blackford Centre for Dyslexia, UK, London)