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Keith Kikuchi


EDU 3520

Teachers As Readers 1

Cris Tovani begins her book by addressing the problem and premise that a large portion

of students are unable to read complex texts. This dilemma has become more apparent in recent

years as the percentage of "fake readers" increases. It goes without saying the importance of

language and the written word, in order to communicate and transmit ideas, thoughts, emotions,

etc; thus, reading has become essential to function in our civilized society. Tovani points out that

students are able to read words, the true predicament lies in the students comprehension of the

text and purpose of reading. Learning how to read does not stop in elementary school, but

continues into the secondary level: it is the responsibility of all teachers to foster positive and

meaningful strategies, purposes, and understanding needed to be effective readers.

I agree wholeheartedly with the fact that reading is of dire importance to any individual

and that it is part of the job of educators to ensure that students are able to be comprehendible

readers, for it is the purpose of education to prepare adolescents for the real world and the

challenges they may face. Personally, I have never experienced the feeling of reading "words"

instead of reading "meaning"; innately, I have always been a good reader (I was reading 5th

grade level books in kindergarten, which allowed me to skip into 1st grade), I enjoy reading and

admire the works of the literary giants. Consequently, it is hard for me to relate to struggling

readers as I have not been one myself; I want to be able to empathize with these readers, but the

saying "You can never truly understand something until you have experienced it yourself"

applies to my situation.
Reading and literacy is not limited to core academics, but is applicable to many other

subjects including my area of study, music. Although music does not use sentence structures,

grammar mechanics, or languages, it has its own unique notation and requires a differing form of

literacy to understand it. A simple analogy relating music to language is that notes = letters,

phrases = sentences, themes = paragraphs, movements = chapters, and pieces = books. With this

understanding, when reading/listening to a piece of music, one must not look/listen for each

individual note/phrase, but to see/hear the whole to comprehend what it is. This process is also

how one reads a book, you cannot understand what the author meant if you read individual

words or sentences, but using those things in context and reading the whole can one grasp the

meaning of the text.