Importance of reading in elementary schools

[ CI Mannou ]

Universally, children begin to learn to read from the age of five years. Reading is, therefore, a very important activity for the pupils of elementary classes. Its importance lies in the fact that it serves as a tool for learning almost all school subjects. Mastery of the reading technique is the basis of good methods of study in language. Learning of spellings is also, therefore, partly dependent on effective reading habit. Reading helps writing and they are complementary processes. It will bring difficulties in working arithmetical problems partly due to faulty habit of reading. A child will have to read in his life more than he will speak or write, and so, reading is a great source of pleasure and recreation.

Reading may be difficult, which is why teachers should know the nature of reading skill and the process of location and removing the handicaps. Besides, they should impart good methods of techniques in reading.

In this connection, much success in teaching depends on the judicious selection of reading materials. According to the principle, reading materials should be highly interesting. So, teacher should see to it that materials which are dull, monotonous and uninspiring should be avoided. To do this, the child must find interest in the subject and understand the language of the writer. Hence, the literacy value of the work should have first consideration in selecting materials for both oral and silent reading.  The materials should also be within the pupil’s range of mastery and the materials should be graded according to the age and maturity level of children. Easy books should also be given for reading purpose to increase children’s motivation and incentive for reading. (The contributor is a retired school principal)