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27th April 2011
What aspects did you find most important or interesting in the readings?
There are several aspects that are interesting from the readings done. It is important to note that some of the students with learning disabilities may have a weakness in their central nervous systems while others could be experiencing it due to poor instructions in their elementary training. Those with medical weakness are the ones who received good instructions in their formative years but those instructions did less to alleviate their present predicaments (Torgesen, 2005). It is also interesting to note that students who are more prone to this disorder are the ones who don’t read much. Failure to do more reading means that they miss out on good opportunities that could have helped them to comprehend texts and to develop a motivation in reading. Such people stagnate in their learning disabilities for a long time (Anderson et al, 1988). Another interesting aspect I have read is that the motivation of persons with learning disabilities to read becomes more difficult as they age. This can be attributed to withdrawal after making many attempts to succeed but failing (Guthrie and Humick 2004). Collaborative tasks in learning raise the rate of students owning up to their weaknesses in their learning and this can be maximised upon to help them to improve on their reading (Fagela, L & Deshler, 2008).
2 (a) How did the readings relate to your own experience or context (text/self)?
The readings are critical in challenging one on the need of self evaluation in the area of reading skills. For example, the readings are important in enlightening a learner who might be struggling in the area of word study. This involves the analysis of words using their structure and meaning (Henry, 1993). This relates to aspects such as prefixes and suffixes which I have weaknesses in. The readings have helped me to understand the importance of intensive reading which I once neglected. It’s a recommendation for struggling students. The readings challenge me on the need for engaging in literature that is rich in vocabulary which is not readily available in the school learning experience. It therefore advocates for personal initiative as the content reading sharpens ones reading skills.
(b) How did the readings relate to other things you have read (text/text)? – This could include links between the topics or course extracts
The readings are very useful in the development of reading aspects such as fluency in a reader. In order for a reader to build this aspect it is required of him or her to read more text in a coherent manner. The readings are also useful in the development and the improvement of passage comprehension in a reader, the more passages you handle the better for the growth of this skill. The development of vocabulary is also propagated by these readings. The ability to discover and to understand complex words in a passage is a critical reading skill. It encourages concentration in reading which creates understanding and comprehension of the text under study.
3. What questions or disagreements do you have about any aspects of the readings?
The strategy advocated for instruction in order to improve comprehension leaves many doubts. The comprehension strategy applied by most tutors in modern education is faulty according to my understanding. In the modern comprehension instruction, the student is given a passage to read and then the teacher formulates questions to test his or her level of comprehension. The questions that are asked are very specific. This has downfalls in the two ways: first a student answering queries about one text can’t teach them to answer queries from other passages. Second the tutor should not be an interpreter in the comprehension experience by zeroing the attention of the student to one area. Instead the student should be left to act independently and focus on the entire passage in order to be comprehensive.
It is hard to believe that a student who has passed from elementary, middle and high school education and hasn’t overcome Learning Disabilities can recover from it. It is hard to believe that mere instructions in his youth or old age can ameliorate the weakness. What if the problem is medical or psychological, can it change?
Guthrie, J. T., & Humenick, N. M. (2004). Motivating students to read: Evidence for classroom practices that increase reading motivation and achievement. Baltimore: Brookes.
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