TEACHER CORNER | The importance of reading

by Sebastian Orada Ailes
Namurabod Elementary School, Namurabod, Buhi, Cam. Sur

Buhi South District

Reading is one of the most essential skills that a child needs to learn. Literacy has numerous advantages, which is why it has become one of the pillars of learning, along with numeracy. Reading literally is a passport to a better life, because it gives one access to an entire universe of words, written on everything from books, to street signs, to currency, and the packaging on food, among others.

Reading helps build vocabulary and boosts one’s writing skills. A person of any age who reads a lot learns a lot of words, and is more likely to use these words in writing. He or she is also more prone to learning about how to construct sentences and paragraphs.

Reading also improves focus and stimulates the brain. When one is reading, one’s attention is concentrated not the physical appearance of the letters, but on what they mean individually and in relation to each other. It is a good exercise for critical and creative thinking because it pushes one to respond, even subconsciously, if not consciously, to what one reads.

Reading encourages a thirst for knowledge. When one reads, his or her curiosity about the subject matter is often piqued. This often brings one to search for additional information to supplement what he or she has already learned from reading one text.

Reading reduces stress. There are studies that show that reading helps calm a person ways faster than listening to music or sipping tea. It reduces anxiety levels, and can help fidgety persons become more tranquil, especially in times of high stress.

Reading improves memory. When one reads, one is forced to remember certain facts which he or she needs to refer to later in the text. It thus encourages one to remember more efficiently as compared to one who does not read.

Reading gives one access to entertainment. Without reading skills, one has no access to a plethora of entertainment materials, which often involve written text. Lyrics, movie subtitles, and of course, books, are all made of text, and without reading skills one has no access to them.

As an educator, I make sure I am a model of good reading habits by taking the time to read as much as I can in my free time. Furthermore, I encourage conversations about what my students have read, apart from repeatedly emphasizing the value of reading in our goal to become lifelong learners.