professornana (professornana) wrote,

Redefine and Revise? Maybe.

I have been talking quite a bit about how we define reading. The NRP identified "pillars" of reading. Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. CCSS seems to have added terms such as academic to vocabulary instruction and close reading to comprehension. But these terms all center on instruction, and instruction already trumps time for actual reading in classrooms across the country. I am more concerned with the materials being read than in narrowing the focus of instruction to 5 pillars. I am also concerned with some of the redefinition of reading I see offered on an almost daily basis in the literature from "literacy" organizations (and those are air quotes as some of these organizations, while they have the word literacy in their titles, are not really talking about literacy as a whole but about tiny pieces of instruction, IMHO).

So, I am on board with an expanded definition of reading when it comes to materials. I think audiobooks, eBooks, textless books, novels in verse, graphic novels, etc. are all appropriate. So are web sites, social media, and other online materials. Serials, magazines and other periodicals, too.

What I am NOT on board with is this redefinition of reading aloud into what some term "interactive" but what is, in reality, not reading aloud but reading, quizzing, questioning, testing. Reading aloud for pleasure seems to be disappearing, especially in grades beyond early elementary. And that is a crime; it is wrong.
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