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5.  What advice about reading have teen-agers given to teachers?

Take more time with individual students and gain more under­standing of them; find out why they make mistakes and help them. One youngster said, "The teacher never helps you. She just says, 'You ought to know that.'"

Divide the class into subgroups. This makes it possible for the teacher to help the students who have special difficulties; the student has more confidence when he is in a small group.

Give more instruction in creative and critical reading.

Give practice in writing as well as reading—for example, writing book reviews or making radio script out of a story.

"Teach us, don't just test us."

Don't embarrass students about their reading before other people.

Stimulate them to read better books; don't let them keep reading the same type of book too long.

Give them a list of recommended books from which they may choose.

Set a good example; children imitate adults who display en­thusiasm for reading and appreciation of literature.

Have conferences with the parents; working together, teachers and parents can help a child improve his reading.

6.  What are some of the common reading difficulties and dis­
satisfactions that teen-agers recognize?

They wish to read faster, but have not learned the art of skim­ming.

They have a meager vocabulary. "My worst reading difficulty," one boy said, "is not understanding words. Now I am reading the newspaper for a half-hour every night."

They wish that they had learned more words and read more worth-while books when they were younger. As one said: "When I was little I used to have lots of time to sit around and read a book. But now there are movies to go to, TV to watch, comic books to read. You just don't seem to have the time to sit down and read a good book."


214                                          HELPING  YOUR CHILD IMPROVE HIS READING

They do not have time to read what they want; they cannot enjoy a book because they have to rush through it.

They are bored with the books they are given to read.

They resent being deprived of activities they do well, such as sports, because their reading is poor.

They are embarrassed when they have to read before the class; one boy said, "When I begin to read in front of a group, I get embarrassed and then begin to stutter and fumble around with words."

Emotional problems may interfere with their reading: "The thing that is most difficult for me, I think, is when I have something on my mind that is bothering me. Then I can't seem to get my mind on what I am reading."

7. How do parental values affect adolescents' reading?

Your children's reading ability and reading interests are strongly affected by the value you and your neighbors place upon reading and other intellectual interests in the home. Are your values show­ing? Which is prominent in your home—the up-to-the-minute kitchen, the colorful tile bathroom, the two-car garage, the television set, or the library with its book-strewn tables? Reading is fostered in an atmosphere of ideas, and ideas grow out of values and interests.

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