Although the article was written by Allington and Gabriel (2012) focuses on elementary students, the same rules can perfectly apply to secondary education. I would not state, however, that all of these strategies are implemented in it. Due to the complexity of the provided texts, not every student has the chance to read accurately or even understand what she or he is reading. This leads to anxiety and neglect of reading because the assigned texts are difficult to comprehend, and the reading activities themselves are perceived as boring. It seems that this problem is linked to the other one discussed in the article – the problem of limited choice.
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Students frequently are not allowed to choose the books they would like to read; they stick to assignments and recommendations provided by the teacher. Involuntary reading often leads to students’ dissatisfaction with the book in general, which eventually results in the disinclination to any books, even the ones students could be interested in. Therefore, Allington and Gabriel (2012) are right in proposing to have libraries in classrooms that will give students the opportunity to get familiar with the texts they can choose. Secondary education needs to acknowledge that workbooks and computers are not efficient in promoting reading to students (Allington & Gabriel, 2012). It does not mean that technology can only have an adverse impact on students’ reading process. On the contrary, it can provide them with relevant information and myriads of curious books. Nevertheless, if students are not allowed to choose, they will be interested neither in paper nor electronic books.
Another barrier that was not discussed in the article is the negative impact of coursework on students; since they have to complete several tasks and write different essays to have good grades, there is almost no free time left for leisure activities, including reading. One can understand students’ dislike of reading; the variety of complex texts, read without any enthusiasm, will make the reading process more unattractive even for avid readers. In addition, students have their limits in understanding several texts during the same day. Students might not have enough energy to analyze another text, even if they find it intriguing.
Moll and Jolles (2014) point out that reading in free time correlates with better grades at school. Therefore, promoting reading among students can have a positive impact on their study outcomes in other areas as well.
Allington, R., & Gabriel, R. (2012). Every child, every day. Educational Leadership, 69(6), 10-15.