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Literacy Essay, Research Paper
Learning to read is like learning to drive a car. You take lessons and learn the mechanics of driving and rules of driving. Why do people put a major emphasis on learning to drive and such a minute one on learning to read? Illiteracy is growing at an alarming rate not only in the USA, but all over the globe. Illiteracy continues to be a critical problem, demanding enormous resources from local, state, and federal taxes. These resources should be spent more wisely so that we can cut back on some of our National Debt.
Why does America have a reading problem? We are the most affluent and technologically advanced of all the industrial nations on earth. We have free public education for everyone to use, more money and resources dedicated to educating our children than any other nation on earth.
According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 42 million adult Americans cannot read; 50 million can recognize so few printed words they are limited to a 4th or 5th grade reading level; one out of every four teenagers drops out of high school, and those who graduate, one out of every four has the equivalent or less of an eighth grade education. The number of functional illiterate adults increases by an alarming two million people a year. If a child is not taught proper reading and meaning techniques before they pass the fourth grade they will be suppressed and forced to take some remedial course to help them cope with not being at the same level as the other children.
There is an answer why children cannot read but it is a hard fact for many people in the education field to swallow. It requires these professionals, who have been engaged in a form of education malpractice for many years, to admit that the methods of teaching reading they have been teaching since the beginning have been all wrong. The method that most teachers teach is that children should memorize or guess at words by looking at pictures or have clues given to them. Learning this way is supposed to be more fun and meaningful, but apparently with the high rate of illiterate children is due impart to this method of teaching. Teaching children to read should be the most important objective educators have. Learning to read is a prerequisite for everything else in life that one will encounter. The English language contains about a half million words, but on average only 300 words make up people s everyday vocabulary. Where do the other 499,700 or more words go?
Whether you know it or not, you are carrying the weight of all the illiterate people in the USA on your back. It has been approximated that the yearly cost in welfare unemployment compensation due to illiteracy is six billion dollars. Literacy Volunteers of America state, an additional 237 billion dollars a year in unrealized earnings is forfeited by persons who lack basic reading skills.
Family involvement is a major key in unlocking a child’s learning ability. If a child is read to on a regular basis, they will be ahead of the game before they start their long journey to read. With how technological our world is becoming, it is important that families place an extreme value on knowing their children can read fluently and understand what they have read. After parents do as much as they can to help their children get ahead start, the teachers can teach the rules of reading to our children.
If we as a nation let this illiteracy problem keep going at the rate that its going now, there will not be anything left for future generations. Everyone will not be able to read or talk fluently. All of the manufacturing would halt because no one could read directions to build anything and the nation would be in total chaos. So do your part and help a child learn to read.
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