How High Schools can help Students with Poor Literacy

The decline in literacy skills among high school students is a significant issue in dire need of being fixed. In today’s world, there is a general lack of interest in reading, resulting in younger generations finding their preferred source of leisurely entertainment elsewhere. Sadly, the overall education curriculum that many schools implement is vastly ineffective in getting students to absorb knowledge, combined with the severely flawed one-size-fits-all ideology held by educators. When it comes to improving reading ability, there are some methods capable of making a change for the better.

To help one get a clearer picture of just how much of a problem educators are having with teaching students, eighty percent of New York City high school graduates lack the basic skills that would qualify them for entry into community college. When such a large percentage of students are having problems developing basic abilities in reading, writing and mathematics, the education system needs to be brought into question. Just what, exactly, is causing students to do so poorly? Numerous aspects that are likely to cause severe hindrances in learning need to be analyzed.

What attitudes are held by students when it comes to reading? Perhaps the pursuit of pleasure through reading written work is not nearly as interesting as it used to be, taking into consideration the vast amount of entertainment that exists today. How do we go about changing this? One way might be for teachers to make a concerted effort at stoking the imaginations of students when it comes to reading. A bored student lacking interest will not feel any slight amount of motivation to read a book if it is not introduced in a fashion that makes them excited to know more. Reading should, first and foremost, be viewed as a form of leisurely pleasure and not as a complete drudgery. Unfortunately, some teachers appear to be so utterly apathetic about what they’re teaching, and students will likely react in the same way.

Learning is a largely individualistic endeavor, and it is absolutely important to note the differences that students have in learning certain types of information. For example, a student with dyslexia is going to have a markedly difficult time developing literacy skills compared to other students who are not effected with that particular condition. It is up to the parents to get their child diagnosed and given an Individualized Education Plan early on to help with their developmental progress in their academic career. Once the plan has been put into effect, it is then up to the teachers to give them special attention when it comes to reading and writing.

Goals can also be looked into as a practical way of getting students with difficulty reading and writing to improve. Upon recognizing that some students are having trouble developing their writing skills, teachers should ideally form strategies in getting these students to improve, rather than dismiss them as being lazy. Taking as much pressure off of students to keep up with the rest of the class is imperative; if possible, recognize the struggles that these students are having and, if they have proper documentation of any type of learning disability, reduce their work. More important than anything else is to not let students who are not doing as well compared to their other classmates feel bad, as that will eliminate any motivation they have to want to improve. Putting these approaches into effect, while making sure that the emotional state of the struggling student is stable, will help make gradual improvements overtime.