A child takes great pleasure in becoming able to read some words but the excitement fades when the texts the child must read force him to reread the same word endlessly. Word recognition – ‘decoding’ is the term used by educational theorists – deteriorates into empty rote learning when it does not lead directly into the reading of meaningful content.

The longer it takes the child to advance from decoding to meaningful reading, the more likely it becomes that his pleasure in books will evaporate. A child’s ability to read depends unquestionably
on his learning pertinent skills, but he will not be interested in learning basic reading skills if he thinks he is expected to master them for their own sake.

That is why so much depends on what the teacher, the school, and the textbooks emphasize. From the very beginning, the child must be convinced that skills are only a means to achieve a goal, and that the only goal of importance is to become literate; that is, he should start to enjoy literature and benefit from what it has to offer.


Mark the best choice.
1. Line 2, ‘fades’ probably means .
a) increases b) disappears c) reaches the top d) starts
2. Line 9, ‘pertinent’ probably means .
a) related b) separate c) interesting d) boring
3. From the writer’s point of view, we may conclude that a child who reads mainly
by rote decoding .
a) will learn how to read intelligently
b) will never learn how to read
c) will not gain much joy and satisfaction from reading
d) will come to enjoy literature later in life
4. We may conclude from this selection that, as a skill, decoding is .
a) worthless
b) important only as a part of a larger effort to enjoy literature
c) supported by teachers, schools, and textbooks as the most important reading
d) still being explored as a new area for teaching reading
5. If the writer examined a children’s reading text that read: “Run, Jim, run. Run to
Tim. Tim and Jim run to Tom”, we could predict that he would .
a) disapprove quite strongly
b) approve enthusiastically
c) have no real opinions one way or the other
d) want teachers and parents to read the text aloud to children

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