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ERIC Number: ED210655
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Oct
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Why Do Children Read.
Gillis, M. K.
Elementary school children were questioned about what and why they read. The 20 children, four each from kindergarten and grades one, three, four, and six, included 12 boys and 8 girls. The teachers were asked to send two good readers and two poor readers from each grade, without indicating which children were good or poor readers. During interviews, if the children indicated reading nonassigned materials for their own purposes, they were judged by the interviewer to be good readers. If they indicated reading only assigned materials for purposes of learning to read or to please others, they were judged to be poor readers. These classifications matched the teachers' classifications exactly. The good and poor readers could be differentiated on the basis of their reasons for reading, regardless of absolute reading levels. Among the things that the good readers read were highway signs, newspapers, and trade books. These children read nonassigned materials in and out of school for many of the same reasons that adults read. They understood what reading was and what it had to offer them. In contrast, the poor readers read only assigned materials in order to "learn the words," and did not understand that reading was a meaningful process. All of these children had adequate oral language skills, learned in an environment saturated with oral language. Educators need to create a similar environment saturated with written language to encourage reading skills. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College Reading Association (25th, Louisville, KY, October 29-31, 1981).