July 17, 2005

Defining Independent Readers

We are all struggling readers to some extent, depending on the text with which we are presented. For instance, I am a struggling reader when it comes to finances or insurance forms.

Beers talks about examples where we may not quite understand the needs of a reader, simply because we arenít listening to embedded messages beneath the ďI donít get it.Ē Listening is key to seeing how students perceive the material presented, which aids in assessing comprehension level.

According to Beers, independent readers are readers that know how to make text make sense- even if they do not initially understand the text. Dependent readers depend on an outside source to show them coping strategies and to use those strategies for them (16). Not everyone learns to read or understand text in the same way, so individual attention for the development of independent readers is crucial. Struggling readers 1) might lack ability or confidence to read independently, 2) may have negative attitude about reading, or 3) simply donít know what to read (17). The key to all of these aspects is confidence, which can be fostered by sometimes very targeted individual instruction in weaker areas.

Posted by harr0626 at 9:04 PM