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Overall, this type of reading lesson on the part of the teacher may inspire students to explore other types of reading material, thus expanding their reading horizons and their ability to think creatively.
Besides having the teacher read aloud passages from a text, one reading project which undoubtedly would benefit everyone involved would be to have the class read the text aloud, either as individuals or as Zullo suggests, as a whole class reading with the text enlarged to poster size on a screen which would enable the teacher to include comments on the text by the students. In this way, all of the students would be encouraged to verbalize their thoughts on the text, make new connections between one passage and another, listen and appreciate different perspectives on certain passages and come to a more fuller understanding of the text. In addition, this method would benefit those students who find reading difficult via having "an opportunity to hear their peers make sense of the text" (Zullo, 2004, p. 52).
After this type of group reading, the effectiveness of it could be realized by giving a short exam on the passages that were read and if the scores turned out to be high, it would indicate that such a method truly does work. Of course, this reading method can be applied at any level, such as in a kindergarten/elementary classroom with children reading a popular picture book or in high school with the students reading and then discussing a text like Moby Dick or some other American literary classic.
A teacher could also utilize what Zullo calls student roles in which individual students act as discussion director, the connector, one who locates "connections between the reading and the world, other texts, classmates and the self," summarizer/predictor, someone who "prepares a summary of the passage read and makes sensible predictions" about what might happen in the next chapter, vocabulary enricher and investigator, "in charge of background information" on the author or specific text references (2004, p. 53). Clearly, some of the benefits of this method would include clarifying the content and context of the material, an increase in vocabulary and an understanding of "the author's craft" or how the author came to write the material and how he/she approached the idea before putting pen to paper (Zullo, 2004, p. 53).
In the end, one might ask, how can a teacher truly inspire a student to appreciate reading and earnestly wish to read? The answer has much to do with providing initiatives to reading, being the instinct or desire to follow through with becoming a more appreciative and habitual reader. Understandably, in order to become such a reader, an individual must be literate, meaning that he/she must be able to read at a certain educational level on a par with their peers.
Some of the most basic traits associated with being literate include critical thinking, the ability to "personalize meaning to individual experience" and to apply "what is read. . .in the real world" (Zullo, 2004, 5). Of course, being a literate person affects practically every aspect of one's life, especially related to being able to utilize "written materials effectively in the environment" in which one lives and works and to function in society as a contributing member (Zullo, 2004, p. 5).
At the most basic level, a teacher can influence a student, particularly in a high school setting, by emphasizing the fact that possessing the ability to read not only well but critically can greatly affect the future in many ways. For instance, literacy in the workplace can help an individual to achieve specific goals by applying reading strategies to a wide variety of situations, thus affecting their job performance (Zullo, 2004, p. 8).
But most importantly, critical reading skills helps an individual to think more creatively, thus opening the door to new opportunities both at home and in the workplace. With children, the ability to read at a level superior to their peers places them in a position of knowledge and will certainly assist them to become even better and more appreciative readers later in life.
Zullo, Rebecca L.…[continue]
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