Teaching reading: it’s not as ‘niche’ as you think

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“Teaching reading at secondary is very niche.” I’ve heard it said, in different ways, many times. It is a very common view, and it is also a mistaken one.

Every teacher needs to know about reading because every student needs to read. In the ‘real world’, our students will need reading to deal with the mail, to follow the news, to sit their driver’s test, to decipher the instructions on a medicine bottle, to fill in employment forms, medical forms, tenancy agreements, mortgages, employment contracts . . . I don’t need to go on, do I? Reading is everywhere in our society. Despite early predictions, the growth of digital communication and social media has only increased the amount we are expected to read.

And in school? From consulting their planner in form time, through French, science, history, geography . . . is there any subject where students don’t read? Traditionally…

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