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What’s Wrong With Reading? - Anthony Turner

What’s Wrong With Reading? - Anthony Turner | Litteris | Scoop.it
Anthony is teased when his classmates catch him reading a book for fun, but he refuses to change his ways. In fact, he argues that his peers should read more, not less.

 

 

 

 

__________

Our colleagues doing good work in the field of basic literacy are making slow but steady progress. But, a much less attended to issue is that of students who can read but who don't read.

 

Learning the skills associated with decoding is certainly a first step. However, evidence is mounting that while literacy rates are climbing, literary reading rates are declining. 

 

This video and article address ONE of the critical elephants in the room. Are we adequately addressing the forces at play in obstructing interest in using those literacy skills.

 

The video shares one of those forces, peer pressure. The video even suggests that this peer pressure exists at a cultural level. That is dangerous territory. The kids in this video, in any case, are making heroic efforts at resisting such pressure.

 

But there is ANOTHER ELEPHANT in the room as well. One that our profession might have more influence over. 

 

In what ways are we making reading an attractive experience, particularly for our kids who have not yet found reading to be attractive?

 

Are our "required" reading lists representative of all our students' potential engagement points. Or, are they "one size fits all"? Or, "one size plus lip-service fits all"? 

 

The kids in the video recognize themselves in the books they are heroically defending and enjoying in spite of the peer pressure. They see not only themselves, but more about themselves, their history, and their culture than they had previously recognized as relevant and therefore interesting. 

 

The young man who "discovers" Langston Hughes built a bridge from his less expansive zone of proximal learning to a larger more inclusive zone of proximal learning because he saw and discovered a relevance to the world he knew. 

 

As a profession we may or may not have sufficient influence to address the peer pressure issue SUCCESSFULLY. It is a form of bullying which happens to be getting an increased recognition in today's educational conversations. And, those addressing the issue of bullying are taking on a mighty task.

 

But there are a few things we can do. We can build in opportunities for reluctant students to find more directly relevant titles to read. We need not necessarily replace the "more remotely relevant titles" but for many reluctant readers, the bridge to titles from the traditional literary canon may be a fairly long bridge to cross. When young readers' zones of proximal development are separated by centuries, extremely sophisticated AND outmoded sentence structures, distant and often outmoded vocabulary, and cultural distances there are significant challenges for which even greater heroic efforts on the part of the student may be required.

 

Yet, we all know that much of that canon is on the list because it represents works of great and universal relevance. We also know that any kid is capable of being "hooked" by engaging learning activities. And, that is a key to our opportunity we must design learning activities that ARE engaging.

 

Teaching great literature as though its primary value is passing a test, or getting into college or as though our primary purpose is to create the next generation of English majors may be an elephant in the faculty room that we might want to take a look at. 

 

I've been wondering about the hierarchy of importance and value of teaching literary reading. I might list them as follows:

 

MOST IMPORTANT: Basic Literacy. Without Basic Literacy literary reading can not be done and therefore can have "almost" no value. Exceptions might include audio alternatives. That is, pre-readers are read too and thus begin to appreciate good story telling as a means towards considering valuable life skills and universal themes.

 

I would suggest that this is essential for 100% of students world-wide.

 

NEXT MOST IMPORTANT: Developing a continuing engagement with literary reading. The engagement must as soon as possible be reader-centric rather than "teacher imposed." Though Imposed reading runs the risk of being disengaging if not done well, it also can lead to engagement that young readers might not have reached without the well-crafted learning activities of an excellent teacher (or parent or other engaged reader who has taken a caring interest in the young reader)

 

Though not an essential value for 100% of our students in the long run, it is extremely beneficial for 100% of them should they become ongoing engaged literary readers.

 

This is a conclusion I don't particularly like to concede, but one need simply look around and see that the values of literary reading can be found elsewhere. Learning the great QUESTIONS of living one's life successfully are available via most faith-based experiences, as well as via great non-literary writings found in psychology, philosophy, history and even business as well as other sources. And in non-writing based sources such as scout masters, Aunts, uncles, and others who take the time to be cherished advisors. Even film, though most film adaptations of great literature fall painfully short. While a portion of that pain is more acute for the English majors than for non English majors, they typically are not, with good reason, considered adequate alternatives to the written original. But, keep in mind, Shakespeare never wanted his plays read; he never even bothered to have them published. Yet we can assume that his audiences might well have been lead to contemplate the very same universal truths we hope today's readers might be lead to contemplate when reading Shakespeare. And, there are many films not based upon a literary piece, that are available only in a visual media, that reach the same universal themes as the best of written literature and often in quite engaging ways.

 

THE THIRD MOST IMPORTANT is perhaps the LEAST IMPORTANT and perhaps the bitterest pill to swallow: Scholarly Reading.  Let's face it. We're all scholars at heart. We wouldn't have earned the required degrees to teach without having been so. And, there's not one of us who hasn't or won't collect a long list of former students for whom we burst with pride upon discovering that we played some role in their choosing to major in English and perhaps even to choose the noblest profession of all as a result to some degree of our influence. But, let's face it scholarly reading is not going to be a part of most of our students' futures. And, overemphasizing the merits of scholarly reading may in fact be counter-productive when students are transitioning from non-readers to engaged readers. Excessive attention to academic minutae directed at reluctant readers and casual readers may be reasons for premature disengagement. 

 

It's a very delicate line between helping students tune in to the magic of a well-turned extended metaphor or helping them learn to catch elements of finely intertwined themes in order further their appreciation and engagement with literary reading and overloading them prematurely with excessive and often distracting attenion to all that "scholarly stuff" we were receptive to in graduate school primarily because we had already long committed ourselves to a life-long engagement with literary reading.

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~


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Kevin Alexander's curator insight, October 13, 2014 1:45 PM

When I was younger I was often teased for reading by my friends as well. However, reading is the foundation for everything. 

Jefferson Hall IV's curator insight, September 10, 2015 11:07 PM

This article really resonates with me because it entails changing the stigma of young black kids dumbing themselves down. This piece aims to change the way kids react to other their peers reading books especially in the young black community. It seems reading automatically generalizing oneself into being a nerd has been a social precedent. After reading Anthony Turner’s words on the subject I began to find hope that this will change. Reading can be very beneficial to the young black community. This education found through reading can help get more black scholars to college and off the streets. I hope to see/hear about more children defying the social construct around them by picking up a book and reading them proudly.

Turner may not be a critically acclaimed writer or have won any awards for his work…yet. In my opinion, this article should still be ruled credible because he is there with his boots on the ground actually fighting the good fight. He has a firsthand perspective allowing him to report the truth he sees, thus making him credible.

Litteris
Reading and Writing in Digital Contexts. Leitura e produção textual em contextos digitais
Curated by Luciana Viter
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Rescooped by Luciana Viter from Libro electrónico y edición digital
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Mayores de 37 años que no quieren cargar peso, así son los lectores de ebooks

Mayores de 37 años que no quieren cargar peso, así son los lectores de ebooks | Litteris | Scoop.it
¿Quién lee en formato ebook? Esa es una de las grandes preguntas que dan para un montón de estudios y un montón de teorías sobre el comportamiento lector.
Via Marianela Camacho Alfaro
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Rescooped by Luciana Viter from A Writer's Notebook
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A Quick Guide to Beta Reader Etiquette - Helping Writers Become Authors

A Quick Guide to Beta Reader Etiquette - Helping Writers Become Authors | Litteris | Scoop.it
Writers love their beta readers. But let’s be honest. Beta readers also kinda drive us crazy. Some of them are perfection: as polite, professional, and talented as any in-house editor. But others… well, let’s just say their lack of tact and their questionable knowledge of the craft can sometimes leave us howling in frustration. Why isn’t there a manual for beta reader etiquette–for how beta readers should conduct themselves and how writers, in turn, should respond?

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Por que George R. R. Martin demora para escrever? Carta a Stan Lee ajuda a entender

Por que George R. R. Martin demora para escrever? Carta a Stan Lee ajuda a entender | Litteris | Scoop.it
 Autor de 'Game of Thrones' tinha 16 anos quando reclamou de furo no roteiro de HQPublicado em O GloboRIO — Que George R. R. Martin não é lá um escritor muito prolífico e sofre constantemente com bloqueios criativos, já não é novidade.
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What’s Smashwords Good For?

What’s Smashwords Good For? | Litteris | Scoop.it
Are you thinking of publishing on Smashwords? Here’s why one author chose to return. #ebooks #Smashwords #selfpublishing @Smashwords

Via Marianela Camacho Alfaro
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Can Students ‘Go Deep’ With Digital Reading?

Can Students ‘Go Deep’ With Digital Reading? | Litteris | Scoop.it
The trick to being a good reader, no matter the medium, is being an engaged reader, a fact that Pennington notes is well-supported by research. “It’s pretty clear that good readers are active readers engaged with the text,” he said.

Via Dennis T OConnor
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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, July 18, 8:32 PM

Engagement is the key....

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Why Reading With Kids Matters, At Home And In The Classroom by Annie Thoms

Why Reading With Kids Matters, At Home And In The Classroom by Annie Thoms | Litteris | Scoop.it
When I was twelve, my father read me Ursula K. LeGuin’s story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” In this fable, LeGuin imagines a utopian society with a dark secret. Every inhabitant of the beautiful city of Omelas is happy, but their happiness is dependent on the existence of one utterly miserable child, who…

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BJ Neary's curator insight, July 18, 8:40 PM
Keep them reading!
Rescooped by Luciana Viter from Ebook and Publishing
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What is the future of books? (infographic)

What is the future of books? (infographic) | Litteris | Scoop.it
Blurb, a leading platform for creating, self-publishing, and distributing image-rich electronic books and magazines, has released an infographic that compares print and…
Via Marianela Camacho Alfaro
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Rescooped by Luciana Viter from TIC, redes sociales y aprendizaje digital
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De como crear un libro electrónico a partir de tu blog 

De como crear un libro electrónico a partir de tu blog  | Litteris | Scoop.it

Una infografía sobre cómo crear un libro electrónico a partir de tu blog. 


Via Patricia Hidalgo Murciano
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Having revolutionized audiobooks, Audible sets its sights on podcasts

Having revolutionized audiobooks, Audible sets its sights on podcasts | Litteris | Scoop.it
Publishers Weekly has a piece looking at Audible’s new “Channels” unlimited listening service. Free to Audible subscribers and $4.95 per month to everyone else, this program offers selections of short fiction and nonfiction content, listenable via the Audible audio app. But don’t call them “podcasts.” Channels head Eric Nuzum, Audible’s senior v-p of original content,…

Via Marianela Camacho Alfaro, Mark E. Deschaine, PhD
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SmartyReader

SmartyReader | Litteris | Scoop.it
“SmartyReader is an interactive eReader platform that pairs award-winning content with challenging comprehension questions and active vocab acquisition.”
Via Ana Cristina Pratas, Carlos Pinheiro, Marianela Camacho Alfaro
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Rescooped by Luciana Viter from Educacion, ecologia y TIC
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¿En qué consiste un plan de fomento de la lectura?

¿En qué consiste un plan de fomento de la lectura? | Litteris | Scoop.it
La Ley de la lectura, del libro y de las bibliotecas (Ley 10/2007 de 22 de junio) indica que los planes de fomento de la lectura considerarán la lectura como una herramienta básica para el ejercicio del derecho a la educación y a la cultura, en el marco de la sociedad de la información y…

Via Ramon Aragon
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e-Book Cover Design Awards, May 2016 - The Book Designer

e-Book Cover Design Awards, May 2016 - The Book Designer | Litteris | Scoop.it
e-Book Cover Design Awards, May 2016 including

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Penelope's curator insight, June 24, 12:55 PM
Take a walk through the good, the bad, and the ugly book covers. There are some amazing works of art here! If you're creating your own covers, Joel makes the case for hiring a professional. It makes a world of difference.

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing for Kindle"***

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Do students lose depth in digital reading?

Do students lose depth in digital reading? | Litteris | Scoop.it
With the surge in e-books and digital devices, one concern has been whether students are learning as much. Research shows that some crucial elements of learning are indeed being lost.

Via Sharon Furlong
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The Zen of Organized Writing: 5 Steps You Can Take Today

The Zen of Organized Writing: 5 Steps You Can Take Today | Litteris | Scoop.it
How can you organize your life as a writer so you can spend more time writing?

What’s the best way to manage writing alongside other projects?

Why is it so hard to balance the act of writing with the day-to-day demands of life?

I think you’ll agree most writers have to achieve more than write every day–we have to do things like plan our research, market our writing, find a quiet place to work.

Via mooderino, CM Elias
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Free Technology for Teachers: Three Good Options for Creating eBooks in Your Web Browser

Free Technology for Teachers: Three Good Options for Creating eBooks in Your Web Browser | Litteris | Scoop.it

Via Lynda Kilpatrick, Maria Margarida Correia
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What Happens When You Try to Read Moby Dick on Your Smartphone?

What Happens When You Try to Read Moby Dick on Your Smartphone? | Litteris | Scoop.it
These days, when most of us think of a “book,” we have in mind something around nine inches by six inches, with mass market paperbacks shaving off an inch or two in each dimension. But digital reading has redefined presuppositions about size and, more importantly, about what format is best for what’s being read: text messages, news articles, textbooks or fiction. Conventional wisdom (including my own) typically suggests that serious digital reading calls for ample screen size (at least a tablet or e-reader), while one-off encounters with sports updates or tweets are fine on mobile phones. But these rules of thumb are crumbling as users increasingly abandon larger mobile devices like Kindles and Nooks in favor of an all-purpose phone. While sales of e-readers and tablets are slowing, the real growth is in smartphones. In 2014, 1.2 billion smartphones were sold worldwide. With many newer generations of smartphones offering bigger screens – along with continued advancements in screen resolution – readers are turning to their mobiles for more and more of their onscreen reading. Does size matter? For most of us, yes. When the reading platform size shrinks, it’s harder to focus on complex arguments or story lines. No wonder [...]

Via Marianela Camacho Alfaro
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Narrativa, gratis y en ereader: así leemos libros electrónicos

Narrativa, gratis y en ereader: así leemos libros electrónicos | Litteris | Scoop.it
Más de 500 internautas han participado en nuestra encuesta. Las webs de descarga son las favoritas a la hora de conseguir ebooks. Hace unas poca
Via Marianela Camacho Alfaro
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Storytelling: An Exercise In Empathy

Storytelling: An Exercise In Empathy | Litteris | Scoop.it
Though I had been practicing these techniques for a fair amount of time, it took Richard Russo’s statement to bring the realization that what I was practicing was empathy. I wasn’t stealing characteristics while people-watching, or inventing a persona, or using myself as material — I was empathizing.

Cicero said, “Glory follows virtue as if it were its shadow.” Practice the virtue empathy, then, and reap the benefits of the glorious novel.

Via Edwin Rutsch
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The Psychological Benefits of Writing Regularly

The Psychological Benefits of Writing Regularly | Litteris | Scoop.it
When you attempt to envision a writer, I imagine many of you see a quirky recluse, hunched over a desk in some cabin, crumpled paper strewn about as they obsessively work on the next great American novel. But writing is so much more.

Via Lynnette Van Dyke
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El futuro de las bibliotecas como eBookstores

El futuro de las bibliotecas como eBookstores | Litteris | Scoop.it
La compra de libros electrónicos a través de las bibliotecas públicas proporciona a cada ciudad una librería local integrada en la comunidad.
Via Marianela Camacho Alfaro
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How to Help Young Writers

How to Help Young Writers | Litteris | Scoop.it
This evening, I was interviewed about how to teach writing by an East Carolina University student, Mikel Peterson. I've written the questions from Mikel below, along with my answers. 

Via Jim Lerman, Lynnette Van Dyke
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Ambition may divide self-publishing authors

Ambition may divide self-publishing authors | Litteris | Scoop.it
All self-publishing authors are indie, but some may be more indie than others. At least, that’s the sense I get from this piece by Porter Anderson in Publishing Perspectives looking at a minor furor that erupted in a self-publishing author association around the formation of a private forum for professional members. The association is the…

Via Marianela Camacho Alfaro
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Want To Feel Like You're Writing With A Typewriter? Here's A Typewriter-Inspired Mechanical Keyboard

Want To Feel Like You're Writing With A Typewriter? Here's A Typewriter-Inspired Mechanical Keyboard | Litteris | Scoop.it
Typewriter-Inspired Mechanical Keyboard Kickstarter Success

Via CM Elias
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Rescooped by Luciana Viter from Writing and Journalling
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Stephen King Used These 8 Writing Strategies to Sell 350 Million Books

Stephen King Used These 8 Writing Strategies to Sell 350 Million Books | Litteris | Scoop.it
The best-selling novelist shares his secrets to selling so many books.

Via Laura Brown
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