By: Mylene P. Rubin, Teacher III
SDO Laguna, Nagcarlan Sub Office
Plaridel Elementary School
The COVID-19 pandemic brought one of the biggest impacts on education, specifically on the skills of our learners. One of which to note is their reading skills. These learners acquired this gap within the two years of remote learning – also because our education system is already experiencing problems in terms of the reading comprehension of our students. It could be noted that our country participated in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) where we were ranked lowest in reading comprehension among 79 participating countries.
Reading is broad area of concern and the strategies needed for helping students to become independent readers should be put on emphasis. According to the Reading Foundation “Academically, children who are not reading on grade level by the end of third-grade struggle in every class, year after year, because over 85 percent of the curriculum is taught by reading.”
Moreover, to become an effective individual in life, one must have the ability to read. Independence in life depends on one’s ability to read. To cite a few situations where this skill is essential are: following signs when driving, reading and understanding owner’s manuals, completing various forms and applications, reading insurance policies, , attending to directions and warnings inside buildings, and a lot more that we encounter in our daily lives.
Our students can bring with them their reading gaps – gaps that we should be able to fill up. We know that this is a tasking job, but before we panic and reach for our schedules and deadlines, remember that our first duty to address these and find solutions to it. Learning gaps can be bridged over time.
Being an educators whose main aim is to inspire our students to learn, here are some of practices worthy to be mentioned in trying to bridge the reading gaps of our learners. Most important practice is to give our learners opportunity to read – at the same time – be motivated intrinsically to read. With proper exposure to a number of text, they would be able to acquire their love for this skill.
Next is exposing children to a wide range of vocabulary. Learning how to understand a word is one of the key skill to improve one’s reading comprehension. Focusing on vocabulary is useful for developing knowledge and skills in multiple aspects of language and literacy. This includes helping with decoding (phonemic awareness and phonics), comprehension, and also fluency.
Another practice worthy of doing is conducting a reading time with the children along with reading with them. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word.
Above this, we must not forget to teach our learners phonics and phonemic awareness skills. Awareness of phonics requires readers to notice how letters represent sounds. This is one that we must focus on as this could affect their oral reading skills. primes readers for print. Being able to bridge this part of reading gap gives readers a way to approach sounding out and reading new words.
Lastly, building rapport with our learners is essential. They need to understand that we as their teachers are here for them. We are here to help them to give them intervention and remediation when needed to give them the quality of education they need.
Reading is a skill that could be a determining factor to our learners’ success in life; therefore, let us become more keen on bridging these gaps and give the learners the kind of quality education they deserve.