A recent study published in the April 23rd edition of Science shows how poor quality teaching will limit the reading potential of children. This reinforces the importance of children having high quality teachers.
“Teachers have an effect on student reading achievement,” said psychology Associate Professor Jeanette Taylor, the study’s lead author. “Better teachers provide an environment that allows children to reach their potential.“
The classroom environment will also have an impact on reading performance. If there is a positive, supportive environment, reading skills are better. This is also influenced by classmates and the classroom resources.
In my experience of helping people to improve their reading skills, I would agree with these statements. Many people have negative associations with reading, which limits their beliefs of what they can achieve. Just last week I was working with someone who was labelled as dyslexic because of his reading speed. However it was evident that there was much pain and trauma of reading as a child, not because he was slower, but because of the fear of parental physical abuse when he reads. Did this condition dyslexic type symptoms? I believe so. When we worked through exercises to release some of these beliefs, reading speeds immediately increased.
So we must ensure that the teaching environment for reading, both at school and at home, is conducive to positive support. Children must learn that there is one skill for reading out loud to their teacher / parents, which has a speed of about 200 wpm. But there is another way of reading, which is quietly to yourself, which enables much higher speeds. There is no reason why children cannot achieve reading speeds of 600 wpm and faster, with increased comprehension. There is not just one way of reading, but many ways. With a nurturing environment, all children can enjoy reading at greater speeds.