Theories and Approaches on the Facilitation of Reading

Essay by hennierUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, October 2007

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TheoriesThe Behaviourist Perspective on the Facilitation of ReadingThe behaviourist view of reading and the teaching of reading hold that before you can read you must be "ready" to read. According to this view children have to be a certain age before they can begin to read, and they must be able to do certain things before they are ready to read. Despite this idea of children having to be a certain age before they are ready to read, there is no agreement as to which age children should begin formal instruction in reading. Teachers favouring this view believe that certain activities make children 'ready' to learn to read. So, before children read books, they are given pre-reading activities such as learning the sounds of letters, or learning the alphabet, or completing puzzles - all to help children acquire the skills that behaviourists think are necessary before formal teaching of reading and writing can begin.

Many junior primary syllabuses for reading still advocate the use of pre-reading and pre-writing activities. Very often children who are identified as 'not ready' are children who have had no pre-schooling or do not come from a home where there is an established book culture. With this understanding of reading readiness, you must be made 'ready' for books before you can have a book. And tragically, this means that these children are kept from handling real books for far too long. (Flanagan, 1998).

The Psycho-Linguistic Perspectives on the Facilitation of ReadingPsycholinguists have shown that children who grow up in literate societies pick up a great deal of literate behaviour from people and the print around them. Often this learning is incidental, and some of it is taught by their families and others before they come to school. Literacy has its roots in the social interaction of...