Saturday, February 13, 2016

Slower developing readers need better libraries, not supplemental instruction.

Posted at
Literacy Proposal hits Resistance in House Committee
Feb 12, 2016

The proposal in Idaho is to provide supplemental literacy instruction for students who score below grade-level benchmarks in kindergarten through third grade.

I posted the following:
These facts might be of interest to the discussion:
1. There is nothing magic about grade 3. Reading ability at any age is related to reading ability at older grades. 
2. BUT students can improve dramatically in reading at any age, including adulthood, if they are exposed to interesting and comprehensible  reading material.
3. The cure for slow reading development is not intensive instruction. It is self-selected reading of books of great interest.
4. The biggest obstacle to improvement in reading is lack of access to interesting reading material. For children of poverty, who typically do poorly on reading tests, their only source of books is the library.

I suggest Idaho invest in libraries and librarians, and not “early intervention.”

Some Sources: Krashen, S. and McQuillan, J. 2007. Late intervention. Educational Leadership 65 (2): 68-73.; Krashen, S. 2009. Does Intensive Decoding Instruction Contribute to Reading Comprehension? Knowledge Quest 37 (4): 72-74, 2009; Krashen, S 2004. The Power of Reading. Heinemann and Libraries Unlimited; Sullivan, A. & Brown, M. 2014. Vocabulary from Adolescence to Middle Age. Centre for Longitudinal Studies, University of London

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