Share now

Science Is Finally Beating Covid. Now Let’s Give It a Chance to Help Kids Read

Science often comes up with a solution for everything. Not only it has solved our daily life problems and has gone on to enhance our lives in every possible way, it has also brought the cure of diseases like Chicken pox or a flu in the past and continues to do so effectively.

Covid 19

Science often comes up with a solution for everything. Not only it has solved our daily life problems and has gone on to enhance our lives in every possible way, it has also brought the cure of diseases like Chicken pox or a flu in the past and continues to do so effectively.

Now that the world is suffering from the pandemic named COVID-19, we again look up to science for the solution. And it sure has provided the solution in the form of vaccine although the challenge remains in front of humans on how to distribute it. 

However, when it comes to studies, there is no such challenge. Science has made teaching and studying both significantly easier and more accessible even in the difficult times of COVID. We all have connecting devices and we all have affordable internet as well. We have online classes solving our crisis amidst this pandemic.

But when we talk about using science as a tool to help kids read, we are not restricting our discussions just to virtual classes. We are here talking about applying science to help children become better readers. We are talking about the challenges which lie ahead while we fight the battle of educating teachers about phonics. 

Reading is not a natural process

For centuries, it has been believed that reading comes naturally to children just like they learn how to talk. This theory was convincing and thus, was believed at a large scale until some studies in the recent times came out. The studies suggested that human brain has always been wired to talk which is why it comes naturally to us but reading is not a natural process and there is a science behind reading effectively.

Researchers say that we are born wired to talk. Kids learn how to talk just by picking up the spoken knowledge in the surroundings. Reading though, is different and unnatural. Speaking language was discovered ever since the evolution of mankind but it was only few thousand years ago when humans invented the written language. When humans were created, they were not designed for reading. Humans invented reading and writing by themselves, for themselves which is why it is dangerous to assume that it should come naturally to kids.

Children don’t crack this code automatically. They need to be taught how letters represent speech sounds. They need to be taught the entire science of phonics.

What is Phonics? 

Phonics is a teaching method used to help kids read and understand a language. In this technique, teachers need to develop the phonemic awareness of the students to help them learn the technique. Phonemic awareness is the ability to establish a connection between what we hear and what we see. The big takeaway of years and decades of research is that even though we use our eyes to read primarily, sound is the starting point for reading which is exactly why it is necessary to build a connection between listening and seeing to become a good reader.

The technique of phonics addresses this concern. There are various types of phonics used in school curriculums with Jolly phonics being the most popular one. However, a massive lot of professionals are still unaware of the science behind reading and even if they are aware, they still argue that reading is a natural process.

The scale of kids struggling with reading

The poor and dangerous teaching technique is one of the main reasons why every 1 in 2 5th grader in Indian elementary schools fails to read a class 2 text. The ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) backs this claim. According to the result of a 2016 survey, 52.2% students of 5th grade failed to read a 2nd grade text which is pretty disappointing.

While it is important that the government and agencies invest millions in tutoring programs at the national level, it would not bring the desired result unless we adopt the scientific method of teaching. With the current COVID fallout, our kids rely on the knowledgeable adults to bring them back on track but our knowledgeable adults need to adapt to new teaching methods as well. The teachers who are unaware about phonics need to be trained and the ones who are reluctant to use this method, need to be counselled.

Once again, we rely on science to help humans out, more so at the time of COVID. It can not only produce vaccines and medicines to save people’s life, it can not only make electric cars to make transportation easier but it can also build a connection to understand the effective way of learning how to read. While we use science in every other aspects of our lives, we need to apply it effectively in teaching as well and give it a chance to help our kids read.


Share now

Leave a Comment