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Page added on September 27, 2018

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Reading is the Key to Success

By Consuelo (Chit) E. Munar

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss

Another amazing school year commenced just recently.  In Alberta, almost a million students went back to school. Great new challenges and experiences certainly lie ahead. The capacity to cope with the culture and complex educational structure and environment will rely on the students and their parents support and cooperation to the school system.

For three years I was involved in the Calgary Catholic School District as an interpreter after passing the cultural interpreter language interpretation skills assessment tool test which is a test of proficiency in English and another language. It also included the ability to perform sight translation as well as consecutive interpretation .

A great percentage of Filipino students attend catholic schools. In several circumstances I was called to schools and other places to interpret, to deliver messages transmitted between individuals who do not share a common language. Most of my interpreting services were done during periods of parent-teacher interviews regarding a student’s standing in class. Many parents in several cases question why their child especially in the elementary level do not receive marks for their performance.

The truth of the matter is: for the past decade or more, a lot of immigrant students can’t read or speak English fluently. It takes years and tremendous efforts to be able to achieve that. It’s unfair to give these students marks when they have not achieved that required level of fluency of the English language. There are students who can read word for word but can’t understand the basic substance of what they read about. This problem is moored on the premise that reading is not encouraged and cultivated at home.

Reading has a significant number of benefits. On top of the list is knowledge. Everything that we read fills our head with new bits of information. The more knowledge we have, the better-equipped we are to tackle any challenge we will face.

The more a person reads, the more words one gains exposure to, and they make their way to one’s everyday vocabulary. A rich vocabulary equals advantage. A child who has been read to will want to learn to read himself/herself. He/she will want to do what she sees her parents are doing. Reading increases a child’s attention span. It is one of the most essential and valuable activities kids can inherit from parents simply by observing them engrossed in a book or magazine.

Being articulate and well-spoken is of great help in any level. It serves as an enormous boost to one’s self-esteem. Early readers will be armed with the vocabulary necessary to communicate with their peers, teachers, and parents. Children who have the ability to find the words they want to use are more likely to have a strong self-image, sense of confidence and higher academic standing. In a recent research, it showed that children four to five years of age who are read to three to five times a week are six months ahead of their peers in terms of reading skills. Those who are read to daily are a year ahead of those who are read to less frequently.

For professionals, reading could be an aid to propel a career. Those who are well-read, well-spoken and knowledgeable on a variety of topics tend to get promotions more quickly than those with smaller vocabularies and lack of awareness in literature, scientific breakthroughs and global events.

Reading creates a stronger critical and analytical skills. When you read an amazing mystery novel and solved the mystery yourself before finishing the book, you’ve put your critical thinking skills to work by taking note of all the details provided and sorting them out determining “who’ve done it.” That ability comes in handy when it comes to evaluating the plot, determining whether it was a well-written piece, if the storyline ran smoothly. And should you ever have the opportunity to discuss the book with others, you’ll be able to state your opinions clearly and soundly.

Even in real life, critical thinking skills are significant. Being able to solve problems given certain elements are a part of daily life – from finishing a project for school or work to figuring out how to navigate difficult relationships. Possessing critical thinking skills are important in all walks of life.

The expansion of vocabulary sharpens writing skills. Exposure to published, well-written work has a positive effect on one’s own writing. Writers learn how to create or craft poetry, prose and news by reading the works of others.

Reading improves memory. When one reads a book,you have to remember various characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, histories and nuances as well as various sub-plots that weave their way through every part of the story. Every new memory created forged new brain pathways and strengthen existing ones which assists in short-term memory recall.

We are living in an internet-crazed world. Individual’s attention is drawn in numerous different directions as he/she attempt to juggle several tasks at once. In a single 5-minute span, studies have shown that an average person divides their time between working on a task, checking an email, keeping an eye on social media and monitoring their mobile phones. This type of behaviour causes stress levels to rise and lowers productivity.

Reading can bring about immense inner peace and tranquility. Reading spiritual texts can lower blood pressure and bring about an immense sense of calm, while reading self-help books has demonstrated to help people suffering from certain mood disorders and mild mental disturbances.

Step away from techno-gadgets once in a while and crack open a good book. See and feel your soul replenished for a little while.


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