Student’s Reading Profile and Progress
Over the semester, my student’s reading profile has improved significantly. When the semester began, Elijah had no interest in reading. He would rather do anything else other than sit down and read. As we began to interact and our relationship grew, I inquired from Elijah the reason for his dislike of reading. I discovered that he had a stammering problem during his childhood days, which reduced his reading interest. In one particular instance, Elijah was asked by his teacher to read a certain page as his classmates listened, and Elijah stammered while struggling to finish the page such that his classmates made fun of his reading and laughed at him. From then Elijah hated reading books and made up his mind that reading was not for him.
Elijah’s interest in reading was as low as it could ever get. He only read when it was mandatory for him to do so. I thought about Elijah’s situation, and as the semester progressed, I began having discussions with Elijah concerning reading. We looked for activities we could do together to motivate Elijah to read more and to arouse his reading interest. I suggested that we read a book together whereby we would meet for an hour each day to go through a chapter then see what the outcome would be. We chose a book with short stories, and the reading began.
In our first session, when Elijah’s turn to read his chapter came, I noticed that he was a bit hesitant. Elijah had never read for someone else after his embarrassing childhood experience. I had to remind him several times why we had chosen this activity so that I could persuade him to read the chapter. After a whil very slow in articulating the words in the book and his reading was not fluent. However, I encouraged him to keep reading, and I would correct him each time he misread a word.
We continued with this reading culture, and as time went by, Elijah’s interest in reading begun to rise. He initiated the reading sessions himself, and at the end of the session, he always looked forward to the next one. By the time the semester was coming to an end, Elijah’s interest in reading had skyrocketed. He no longer needed me to read books with him as he was perfectly okay doing the reading by himself. He had become more fluent in his reading and had no problem articulating certain words that he could not read before.
Elijah’s strength was reading short words whose articulation was directly related to how the letters followed each other in the specific word. For example, it was easier for him to read the word “bank” instead of “brought.” Elijah would therefore have to break down words into smaller parts and then think about how the words sounded in his head before reading them out loud. Words that had a vowel sound following a consonant sound were easier for Elijah to read as compared to words with two consonant sounds followed by a vowel. For example, it was easier for Elijah to read the word “take” than the word “brought.”
Elijah still had a long way to go in sentence construction and in reading long words. Words such as “flabbergasting,” “hippopotamus,” “precariously” still proved difficult for Elijah to read. When these words were in a sentence, Elijah would either skip them or read them in such a low voice that it was impossible to hear what he said. Thus, Elijah must continue developing his reading abilities so that he becomes eloquent in reading and sentence construction.
As the semester continued, Elijah made progress in various areas. To begin with, Elijah was able to differentiate between the letters “r” and “l.” Earlier on, Elijah would pronounce the letter “r” as “l” and vice versa. For example, instead of saying that his friend was “loyal,” he would say that his friend was “royal.” Instead of saying that he had “bleached” his clothes, he would say “breached.” To overcome this challenge, I took Elijah through a series of words with the letters “r” and “l,” explaining the difference between e, Elijah finally gathered courage and begun reading his chapter. As I listened to him read, I realized that he was the two and showing him how to find the distinction. By the end of the semester, Elijah was able to distinguish between the letters and pronounce words correctly.
To make reading more enjoyable for Elijah, we explored topics related to his areas of interest. For instance, we read a book about spaceships. Elijah was able to explain the meaning of certain words from the book without overthinking because he could relate the meaning of the words to what was going on in the book. This helped Elijah improve his vocabulary and increase the number of appropriate words he could use in conversations and writing.
Elijah’s comprehension abilities have also improved over time. He can now identify words and their meanings so that he can go on and on reading a book without stopping to think of the meaning of what he has read. His ability to easily comprehend what he has read has helped improve his overall grades because it has become so much easier to solve problems. Comprehension has enabled Elijah to develop knowledge, skills, and experiences that cause him to become a competent and enthusiastic reader.
Elijah’s concentration has also increased a lot because of reading. He is now able to stay focused on one thing, unlike before when his mind would deviate to different things when he was reading. Elijah reads for more extended periods. He has developed a liking for different subjects because he takes his time to focus and understand how different subjects relate to each other and the environment.
By the end of the semester, Elijah had developed a high level of self-efficacy in reading. He was very confident in his ability to read well, even as other people listened. His attitude towards reading had completely changed to the extent that reading had become one of his favorite activities. Elijah, who would rather do anything else but read, had wholly transformed into a person who valued reading.
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