The Merriam Webster dictionary defines education as the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools. Basic education teaches us read and write. The world is undergoing rapid changes and the implication of these changes on education. A sense of responsibility has to be developed for knowledge. Learning without wisdom can be a dangerous thing if without responsibility. Reading provides an opportunity to gain information and enjoyment to the young children. People would spend few hours to read books but the only tragedy is that, with time, people have lost their skill and passion to read. Look through into some of the developing countries. Many developing countries have multiple languages spoken as 'mother tongue' or 'home languages'. There is often a lack of physical resources for schools compare to the developed countries. These resources include the school facility and instructional materials. Actually, reading brings more usefulness to people. The usefulness of reading is an active mental process, increases our vocabulary, improves concentration, memory, analytical thinking and creativity, gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places of the world, build self-esteem and also can reduce stress and boredom.
Reading is an active mental process of mentally interpreting written symbols. Unlike sitting in front of the television, reading makes you use the brain. You will be forced to reason out many things which are unfamiliar to you while reading. In this process you would use the grey cells of your brain to think and become smarter. The facility in reading is an essential factor in educational progress and instruction in this basic skill is a primary purpose of elementary education. Compulsory childhood education laws have assured that most citizens of advanced industrial nations can read, although inability to read or write is still a problem in many areas of the world. Physiological and psychological studies suggest that the process of reading is based on a succession of quick eye movements, known as fixations, across the written line, each of which lasts for about a quarter of a second. In each fixation more than one word is perceived and interpreted, so that a skill reader may take in more than three words per fixation when reading easy material. Depending on the rate of fixations and the difficulty of the material, an adult can read and understand anywhere from 200 to 1,000 words per minute.
There has been considerable difference of opinion about the best method of teaching children to read. By the end of the 20th century, the educational was largely that a combination of phonics, which emphasizes sound and the whole-language method, which emphasizes meaning is the most effective way to teach the skill. Most educators also agree on the importance of remedial work for students whose progress is impeded by impaired vision, faulty eye movements, developmental disabilities such as dyslexia which means a variable often familial learning disability involving difficulties in acquiring and processing language that is typically manifested by a lack of proficiency in reading, spelling and writing, or personal handicaps resulting from poor teaching.
In the second place, reading increases our vocabulary and improves our spelling more than talking and direct teaching. Researches today believe that reading pours more words into our brain than conversation and television. Reading forces us to look at the words that we might not have seen or heard before. In fact, language in children's books are likely to be more complicated than our conversation. Children have very open minds and they love to ask question. So, whenever they read a new word they do not understand, they will ask someone straight away. They accept the explanation immediately because their mind is open and they keep it in their memory. Adult's brain naturally develops barriers to learning as people mature, they have a much harder time retaining new words in their memory. They just only learn what they want to learn. To increase our vocabulary is the way a child does is develop an open mind. At the beginning it could be difficult but with practice, you will be surprised at the words you start incorporating into our writing. A heavily and powerfully built vocabulary is not for writers though. It is good to know what other people are saying and using the perfect words to convey our feelings.
All successful writers will tell us that in order to write well, you need to read. There is another way to increase or improve the vocabulary by listing out the unfamiliar words while reading. If you read for pleasure to increase vocabulary, you must learn the right way of reading that will allow you to increase vocabulary more dramatically. Reading will only improve our vocabulary if we actually read all the words in the sentence. It will help us to increase vocabulary if we pay attention to all the new words we encounter.
Other than that, reading can improve on our concentration, focus, memory, analytical thinking and creativity too. Concentration requires you to focus on what you are reading for a long periods. Unlike magazines, Internet posts or e-mails that might contain small chunk of information but books tell the whole story of it. There are few causes why do people lack of concentration and focus which is not being prepared to read, too much noise surrounding you, a lack of interest in the material and the materials is too difficult, a lack of motivation and suitable goal, emotional problems and being tired. How to increase our power of concentration and focus in reading? Firstly, try to select a place that you like to study or read and where there are away from any distractions. You will feel more concentrate when you are in a place which is comfortable to you. Try to get your baseline which means measuring how you fare initially in performing the skill. You can try to reading non-stop until you get distracted or tired and that would be your starting point in determining your improvement. Other than that, try to spreading out your goals in a few days or weeks and do not expect results in increasing your concentration fast. For example, if you have a baseline of ten minutes, try to aim for thirteen minutes for the next week and it will helps on it. Schedule reading practice every day is the most effective way to improve your concentration and focus. Brain is a thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action. Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, as does physical exercise.
Most of the studies show that if you do not use your memory, you will lose it. For an example, crossword puzzle is a word game that staves off Alzheimer's. Reading although is not a game but it helps you stretch your memory cells in a similar way. Remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters requires in reading. Reading also improves on our analytical thinking which can emphasize critical thinking, build elaboration skills, advance readers abilities to interpret and afford opportunities to form opinions with reasoned support. Cunningham's studies have found that analytical thinking is boosted by reading. Analytical thinking is a technique for evaluating information and ideas for deciding what to accept and believe. It involves reflecting on the validity of what you have read in light of our prior knowledge and understanding of the world. Reading about diversity of life and exposing yourself to new ideas and more information helps to develop the creativity side of the brain as it imbibes innovation into your thinking process. An example, someone who read many books about solving problems and so often there is a problem occur and he able to solve the problem with his creative solution that is not written anywhere. He can to combine lessons from all of them into new solution.
Another point of usefulness reading is gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places of the world. The world is colorful landscape of different languages, skin color and different cultures. It is important to develop an appreciation for different cultures in order to become a well-rounded person who is sensitive to the unique qualities of others. Try to learn about other cultures around the world is the one way to develop this appreciation. There are several ways to become knowledgeable about different cultures and one of it is read books written by authors from a particular culture. Reading works by authors who have a close relationship with a particular culture allows people to gain authentic glimpse into the food, language, music, religion, costume and the way of their life of a particular group of people without actually have to step foot outside of your house. How would you know about the life of people in Mexico in the early stage and a book named 'Porfirio Diaz' by Paul Garner would tell you about history of Mexico. Another way to learn about different cultures is to try to learn a foreign language by reading. For a beginner, you can try to look into 'First Spanish Reader : A Beginner's Dual-Language Book' by Angel Flores which is English and Spanish Edition. By reading, it can learn more than expected.
The more books you read, the more knowledgeable you become and the higher self-esteem built. Most of the people think of someone who has a positive attitude is a person with self-esteem. Having self-esteem is when you have a high regard for yourself, when you value who you are. In other words, having self-esteem is when you have respect for yourself. There are few ways to build self-esteem in reading like give yourself reward for doing something successfully. It may be something as small as thanking someone for something but that is a success because you acknowledge something that someone has done for you. Try to say good things to yourself in reading. Influence yourself in reading that is good and important to our own self. Do not command on our self that I must read and take a deep breath and move on reading. Building your self-esteem is going to help you take bigger risks and have a more fulfilling life. With a high self-esteem in reading, you can accomplish anything. Building self-esteem does take time. However, anything that is going to help you in reading to the fullest is worth.
The last point of usefulness of reading is can reduce stress and boredom. Everybody has stress at one time or another. It is a personal choice on how you deal with. You can take a walk, listen to music, get a massage, soak in tub or read a book. Whatever you do that you enjoy doing it is your stress reliever. Stress can affect your health if you do not take care about it. For example, reading is a great way to reduce stress. Whichever genre book that you read, it will take your mind off whatever is causing your stress for a short time. According to Dr David Lewis, cognitive neuropsychologist reading can reduce stress levels by sixty-eight percent. Reading can also help reduce stress by providing answers to the problems. Advice or instructions on how to solve problems can get from reading. When a problem is solved you will feel more relax and stress will reduced from your body.
In conclusion, reading helps in mental development and known to stimulate the muscles of the eyes. Reading is an indulgence that enhances the knowledge acquired. Reading also helps readers to found new words or phrases that they come across everyday in the conversations. This can become a healthy addiction and adds-on our information. It also encourage action toward improvement. The book reading is always better than a movie or a magazine.
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