“ The young people of today will need to demonstrate a higher level of literacy because they are inundated with information and data.
They must be able to discriminate, judge, analyze and evaluate information. If we successfully educate them to function at the powerful literacy level their futures truly will have impossible limits for success.
--Dr. Eugene White
The preschoolers who had heard more words, and subsequently learned more words orally, were better readers.
In the four years prior to kindergarten—
A child in a professional family accumulates experience with almost 45 million words
A child in a working-class family – 26 million words
Perhaps the most powerful way of encouraging children to read is to expose them to light reading, a kind of reading that schools pretend does not exist, and a kind of reading that many children, for economic or ideological reasons, are deprived of. I suspect that light reading is the way nearly all of us learned to read.
“ Voluntary pleasure reading is also beneficial for second language acquisition, especially as the reader is free to choose reading material that is of interest and the proper level in order to be understood.”
---Krashen, Stephen D. 1981,
Principles and Practice in
Second Language Acquisition
The home print environment was about as strong a predictor as SES (social economic status)…
“ The home print environment (number of books in the home) was a strong predictor of reading achievement, even when income, parental education, aspects of schooling, language used at home, and other aspects of the home environment were controlled. This was the case at age 10 and also at age 15.”
--Krashen, Stephen, “Protecting Students Against the Effects of Poverty: Libraries”, New England Reading Association Journal
Second and third grade children who came from print-poor environments and who attended a school with a poor school library were taken to the public library monthly. Each child was allowed to take out ten books, which suddenly produced a substantial classroom library for use during sustained silent reading time and for reading at home. It was clear that the children enjoyed their visit; most reported reading more, that reading was easier, and that they wanted to return to the library.
“ Reading is good for you. The research, however, supports a stronger conclusion: Reading is the only way, the only way we become good readers, develop a good writing style, an adequate vocabulary, advanced grammatical competence, and the only way we become good spellers.”