READING: AN ESSENTIAL COMPETENCE FOR ALL LEARNERS
LIEZL D. DE JESUS
Reading is an essential tool for the acquisition of various information and insights. Hence, it is of great significance that learners be taught and eventually be equipped with reading strategies that could develop their skills.
A great affirmation of the importance of developing proficient reading skills among learners is the famous saying , “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”. This statement illustrates the path that good and wide readers may have in the future. These could only be achieved if teachers of English, particularly, in the area of reading would continuously be equipped with various teaching strategies or pedagogies that they could use in teaching and in developing the Reading skills of all learners, most importantly the oral reading fluency of primary grades pupils for it is in this level that the reading proficiency level of students start to be developed. With such prominent need, relevant training must be planned and conducted to capacitate reading teachers as to how they could address the needs of their pupils in terms of the development of their reading skills. Trainings must include teaching strategies, approaches and the development of appropriate instructional materials that focus in development of their oral fluency, vocabulary skills, comprehension competence, including their creative, critical and interpretative skills which they could use in interpreting text, billboards, and signages in various forms of media.
Another way of equipping teachers with the content and teaching strategies is through professional readings. They themselves must read various books that could enhance their knowledge as teachers of Reading. They must invest resources, time and effort in acquiring information and strategies for the benefits of the learners. In Addition, teachers must establish partnership with the parents of their learners so that collaboratively, they could enhance what the learners acquired in school. Parents should have supervise study time with their children regularly. If competence in Reading is viewed as key tool that opens a vast of information and wisdom, its development among all types of learners must continuously be given priority by the government, the school, the home and the community to ensure a better and more productive future for the youth.
Finally, learners are to be oriented about the significance of having proficient reading competence. They should be made to realize that these skills will help them all throughout their existence and these could be their passport of achieving more in their professional life so that they would exert greater effort and have the right paradigm in acquiring this competence.
It is on this purpose that a one day training is proposed to be conducted for 50 primary grades teachers to further equip them necessary teaching skills and strategies that would be utilized in developing the Reading Skills of the primary Grades pupils.
THe author is OIC, Education Program Supervisor/ Principal I at City Schools Division of City of San Fernando