Moving Towards the Great Intellectual Milestones: a Psycholinguistic View of Learning to Read and Reading to Learn
Solomon 0. Unoh
Learning to read and reading to learn represent two great intellectual milestones in the human search for knowledge. This truism is often overlooked in educational circles, with three dangerous consequences. First, the task of teaching pupils how to read is pursued half—heartedly, or even left to the whims and caprices of individual teachers, parents or guardians, who may not fully appreciate the great intellectual significance of their seemingly simple task. Second, pupils’ capacity for reading to learn is often taken for granted as soon as they acquire the basic reading skills of identifying and decoding letters, words and phrases. Thirdly, very unfavourable situations, such as, the development of negative attitudes to reading; lack or loss of interest in reading; general reading underachievement; reading difficulties or reading backwardness; as well as the reluctant reading and learning syndrome, to which I drew attention elsewhere (Unoh, 1982) could be inadvertently created, thereby impeding the systematic and sequential
development of reading interests and abilities.