The Role that Reading Plays and Why Reading is Important

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Primary grades mark a time of tremendous growth in literacy skills, making reading activities a crucial part of the school day. Students typically learn to read in kindergarten and continue developing fluency and comprehension in first grade and beyond. Reading activities that address all reading skills help young students develop a well-rounded approach to literacy.

The Department of Education has already implemented several reading programs but the desired target of a zero non-reading class is yet to be achieved. On 1992 survey on the achievement rates of elementary education revealed that the low achievement rates of 60% of elementary school pupils was below the desired 755 achievement rate. These figures imply that there was a deficiency of skills acquired by the elementary.

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Teaching pupils how to comprehend different text genres is an important goal for the elementary school years, especially, for grade 4 pupils and beyond, when pupils are expected to read a wide range of materials to gain knowledge and literacy experiences (Alexander & Jetton, 2000). A substantial correlate of reading comprehension in the later elementary grades is reading motivation, according to a variety of investigators (Hidi & Harackiewics, 2000). This study examined reading motivation for its potential to explain pupils reading skills and to predict pupils’ growth in comprehension over time (Stipek, 2002).

In Edward William Dolch’s 1951 book “psychology and teaching of reading”, reading was defined as “imagining, thinking and feeling about ideas and thoughts made from past experiences that are suggested by perception of printed words. “(p.9) reading, as stated by the author, is an activity that requires the different capabilities of the mind, as the reader process words and their meaning.

The improvement of this reading skills as pointed out by Dplch, is highly essential, because a basic level of reading ability is generally “not enough to master a quantity of assigned reading in special field” (p.329) in college. He also mentions that fluency in reading is specially required for English literature subjects.

According to Juan Miguel Cruz (2007), despite our supposedly high literacy rate, many Filipino can barely read and write. This is true especially of those living in remote areas as well as the slum areas of the country. Someone once remarked that we care not a nation of readers; we are a nation of storytellers, ours is a culture of oral history passed on by word of mouth not through the written word.

Guthrie and Wigfield’s (2000) theoretical model suggest that motivation influences reading comprehension growth. Although reading motivation and reading comprehension are correlated (Wang & Guthrie 2004), and laboratory studies suggest that motivational conditions can increase reading comprehension (Guthrie & Humerick, 2004). It is unknown whether reading motivation predicts reading comprehension growth in classroom contexts. The present study investigated this issue.

Reading, as cited by Suyamin (2003) is the primary avenue to knowledge. Reading makes one independent, well- informed, and actually becomes a better individual. it is reading that a person will be able to stock ideas and information and therefore develop his communication skills. Discover exact meaning, acquire new concepts and evaluate ideas of the writer. Learning to read can be an exciting experiences and need not be difficult. It comes from reader, relating the background of experience to the words of the writer.

As cited by Abdillah (2009) the Basic reading skills are one of the most important skills in the delivery of information and ideas in our culture. Reading skills too are critical to all learning in school and for a productive life skill (Saunders, 2006). Reading is an active process which should be acquired at the early learning age. Mastery of reading depends on the reader familiarity with letters, words and spelling patterns (Yahya, 2006). Reading skills also ranging from identifying, recognizing and pronouncing letters and syllables and then reading words, sentences and passages or essays. Low reading proficiency may affect an individual to take more time to complete his reading. This in turn would create difficulty in comprehending the materials being read and eventually interest in reading would be affected ( Meisinger, Bloom & Hynd, 2010).

Also according to Teele that the goal of all readers should be to understand what they read (2004, p. 92). Research shows good readers are actively involved with the text, and they are aware of the processes they use to understand what they read. Teachers can help improve student comprehension through instruction of reading strategies. Predicting, making connections, visualizing, inferring, questioning, and summarizing are strategies shown by research to improve reading comprehension (Block & Israel, 2005).

On the other hand, Marina, Fadzilah and Roselan (2011) stress that teacher should be sensitive to the students’ environment to facilitate interest in early reading interest among their students. They also stress that teachers need to find or use the techniques, methods and materials appropriate to the abilities of their students. Inappropriate methods and use of teaching materials suitable to the students’ ability level will affect students’ interest to learn.

Hampden-Thompson et al. (2013) also suggest that a variety of teacher factors, family and home environment elements are the predictors of student’s reading achievement. The family and home environment factors, in particular, tend to have the largest influence on children’s literacy development. A growing body of research illustrates that the quality of the family literacy context influences children’s attitudes towards reading (Bracken and Fischel 2008; Frijters et al. 2000).”

In addition, (Applegate & Applegate, 2010; Marinak & Gambrell, 2008; McClure, 2008; Pitcher et al., 2007; Solheim, 2011). Said that pupils’ reading skill has effectively combined functional cognition such as pupils reading motivation and self-efficacy belief. On the current research findings indicate that pupils’ motivation and self-efficacy have become important determining factors of overall literacy achievement and success

Moreover, Chapman (2010) believes that success in school and in later life heavily relies on the individual’s ability to read. Reading is an integral part of success in almost all academic areas as well as in obtaining a successful career in the future. Reading is also the agent by which different affairs are carried in the future. Reading is also the agent by which different affairs are carried out and achieved in almost all work places.

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