Anyone Can Teach Reading – Do you agree?

Anyone Can Teach Reading
Anyone Can Teach Reading

Do you agree that anyone can teach reading when they know how? All you need is to be able to read yourself. Teachers and reading specialists see it as an expert skill. They feel that if anyone could teach reading effectively, their skills would be undervalued. However, when you think about, if anyone can’t teach reading, how about the children who have taught themselves to read? They had no teacher training or university degree. They were just very observant about text in their everyday lives and copied what they saw and heard. Yes, I agree that this doesn’t happen very often and it only seems to be children with a very high IQ that can teach themselves to read without tuition. How do you account for parents though, who with no teacher training have taught their children to read?

When the teaching of reading stops, many children go on to advance to an adult reading age by picking up new words and a clearer understanding of phonics through the classroom, books, TV and other everyday sources. This random way of learning has been relied upon by teachers for years. For some unknown reason, the teaching of reading ends before a child has an ability to read any text. The teaching of spelling and core English skills takes over until a child is eleven. If anyone can teach reading, could it be that children don’t need the help that teachers give? They will learn to read over time just by coming across new reading material regularly.

These days however, there are many children who choose not to read for fun. They see reading as boring or hard work. They play computer games or listen to music instead. Some opt for a shorthand version of English in text messages or they’re lives are too cluttered with difficulties to see the importance of learning at school. Hence, not all teenagers can read fluently. Maybe it’s time for a change. Should teachers finish what they started? Or should learning to read be left to chance. There are many adults who years down the line still can’t read but would love to have been able to. If anyone can teach reading, they’re living proof that it’s not always possible to learn to read without tuition.

If anyone can teach reading, the readers who have failed to learn to read by traditional methods and have had specialist help, will tell you that it’s not possible. Phonic experts are essential. Given the choice, many kids in the early years would rather play and be read to than learn to read for themselves. So, it may well be that society as a whole is getting it right after all. The structured approach is necessary.

So, can anyone teach reading? In the words of many parents. You can do anything if you set your mind to it. Most parents leave this skill to teachers. Should the onus be back on the parents? Should parents absolve themselves totally of the responsibility of ensuring that their child can read well and leave it to the teachers? Or should children be taught that the rest is up to them. If anyone can teach reading naturally, could it be kids?

So, anyone can teach reading? Yes if you know how. Can everyone learn to read? No, not without help. Are there any exceptions to these rules? What do you think? Maybe it’s time to stop the hit and miss approach to teaching reading and hold teachers and parents responsible for children learning to read well. After all, their life could depend on being able to read well.

Maybe a compromise is necessary. Parents, actively learn how to teach reading. Teachers, don’t stop teaching reading until every child can read fluently. Children, keep asking for help, but be prepared to practice, practice practice. Every skill takes time to learn and reading is no different.  Above all, make sure that you have the right resources to teach reading to fluent adult reading levels. Keep practicing reading until fluent. All the help for anyone to teach reading and learn how to read is available. So start today with  ‘Practice Reading and Speaking’. (more information)

Buy Practice Reading and Speaking here.

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2 thoughts on “Blog

  1. My mom taught me to read by the time I started school. My mom own struggling with reading is the reason she taught me to read. She had a high school diploma with only some college.

    1. Your Mum is amazing! It’s not always easy to teach something that you find difficult yourself. However, I know where she’s coming from. When you have kids of your own, you want the best for them. Your own personal struggles somehow spur you on to try to ease the suffering of your kids throughout their school life and beyond, before it ever happens. Difficulties at school are indelibly etched into your brain. In the end, as an adult you realise that you can not only make a difference to your own life, but also your children’s and others too. I taught my own children to read before they went to school. I started trying to get my head around how phonics and reading works soon after my first child was born, by the time I got to my fourth child (more than seventeen years later), I finally understood it well enough to be able to start to write a book on it. Given time and effort, as an adult, you can improve your reading skills as well as maths and other things (if you want to). My Mother always used to say, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” (I find myself saying that a lot recently.) The effort Mothers put in to teaching children to read are not always appreciated. So, your Mum is blessed to have an appreciative child. Well done Amanda!

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