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Reading and the Child's Future

Febelyn is a college student taking up, Bachelor in Secondary Education, Major in English at Central Philippine Adventist College.

Reading skill is vital to a child's success in school, work, and life in general. Total book reading is declining significantly, although not at the rate of literary reading. The percentage of the U.S. adult population reading any books has declined by -7 percent over the past decade, dropping dramatically over the past 20 years. Less than half of the adult American population now reads literature. It is today's responsibility to make reading revival to people and we can only do that by starting it in the vulnerable minds of children. Reading develops a child's mind because it helps them to understand others, enhances their brain activity, and it helps in fostering vocabulary.

Encountering different ideas in reading helps children to understand others. Research has indicated that reading literary fiction (fiction books with literary merit) enhances what researchers call ‘Theory of Mind’, or the capacity to understand the mental state of others. And to understand the context is far more important to proper comprehension than going through the dictionary and memorizing mechanically all the words that you probably will never use or ever see written somewhere. Also, studies show that reading can help kids build developmental skills of emotional intelligence and empathy, enabling our young readers to better connect with other perspectives and human experiences. Therefore, reading develops the sense of awareness of the child toward other people.

Reading helps in the child's brain activity. Based on Australian Christian College, unlike watching television or streamed entertainment, reading requires focus. This engages the mind and stimulates more brain regions than passive forms of entertainment. In a study at Emory University, for example, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brains of students before and after reading Pompeii, a novel by Robert Harris. In the days after reading sections of the book, they found increased connectivity in the brain areas involved in receptivity for language, plus physical sensation and movement. This proves that brain activity is enhanced when children read.

By exposing students to new words, reading can expand vocabulary. This has been shown in research, that reading-related activities were the primary cause of vocabulary growth from grades four to ten. It’s much easier to learn vocabulary from a book than from memorizing words in the dictionary. That’s because you’re learning the words contextually. The words make sense within the context of what you’re reading so it makes it easier to remember later. Consistent exposure to new words, learning their meanings, and seeing the context in which they're used will increase the possibility of understanding the word. That's why reading improves the vocabulary of a child.

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To conclude, since the record shows that reading books has declined rapidly, it will become great devastation in the future. Especially to those who are non-readers since reading skill is vital to a child's success in school, work, and life in general. We are to teach our children to value their opportunity to read because it can help them enhance their brain capacity, can help in improving vocabulary, and can also help them to understand other people. Every child deserves to have a bright future so we are encouraged to teach them how to read.

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Febelyn Tagalogon

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