Advocacy

Defy labels.

The Reluctant also known as Infrequent Reader

Reluctant reader is a phrase that really makes me cringe.  It places a lot of blame on the student who has any one of a host of reasons for their distaste of reading.  The assumption is a reluctant reader is a less competent reader.  My grandparents, although college educated, did not read for pleasure, and perhaps my dad, although he loves to read technical material and magazines, fell in their footsteps seldom reading literature for fun.  

I think it’s probably fair to say that without audiobooks, my partner and I, who are both good readers, would probably not read much for pleasure either.  What does it mean for a child to be completely uninterested in stories and literature?  Where does the reading reluctance stem from?  The assumption is it stems from a disparity between the age of the reader and the reading level – meaning an older student who is not reading at grade level will struggle to find literature that both appeals to her topical interests and is written at her reading level; hence the popularity of hi-lo books.  So it stems from a lack of reading skill.  Leveled reading programs that incentivise reading such as Accelerated Reader are based on the philosophy that the only way to become a better reader is simply through reading.  Do these programs help since all of the students are participating in the leveling or does it make struggling/reluctant reader stand out more?  My supervising teacher librarian was very disappointed after spending a lot of time leveling students from a long-term ELL class only to experience not a single student check out a book.  

 

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