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Why Students Are Struggling With Reading and How to Help

Why students are struggling with reading and how to help

Reading is a complex and immersive process that connects us with our world and awakens memories, knowledge, and experiences that may have long lain dormant. Yet why do some students struggle with this fundamental academic skill?

By the time many children who struggle with reading reach middle school, they may have internalized messages that schools don’t belong to them or that they are inept, leading to anxiety and frustration.

1. Lack of Confidence

Children who struggle to read can feel discouraged, embarrassed and left out by their peers, with many developing messages about school not being the place for them or that they’re not smart.

Teachers need to ensure reading is enjoyable and supportive for their students, providing scaffolding to understand what they’re reading. One effective strategy to accomplish this goal is by selecting engaging texts which are age appropriate and accessible across grade levels.

Research-proven reading strategies should also be taught to children who are struggling. This may involve teaching them decoding words and recognizing parts of speech within words such as noun, verb, adjective and preposition etc. There are various methods available for teaching these skills to children who struggle, and oftentimes these abilities will develop independently given sufficient opportunity.

2. Anxiety

Students with anxiety often find it hard to concentrate, leading them to neglect their assignments and not finish them on time. Feeling overwhelmed by the task and not knowing how to seek assistance may cause additional complications for these individuals who struggle making sense of what they read due to an unfamiliarity with language and meanings of words.

Children who fear reading may put off doing it entirely, leading them to fall behind in class and become frustrated with themselves. Furthermore, these kids may develop low self-esteem as a result of struggling with reading.

Teachers should make every effort to understand a student’s reading anxieties and address them appropriately. If a student is fidgeting in class or experiencing difficulty completing homework assignments, or acting restless or sleepy during class time or has trouble finishing their assignments on time, he or she should be evaluated for anxiety by teachers using The Child Mind Institute’s tool which allows teachers to easily check symptoms of anxiety as well as provides articles and resources for discussing this with them.

3. Dyslexia

Students diagnosed with dyslexia often struggle to decipher words and interpret what they read, which can make reading a daunting challenge. Dyslexia is a genetic condition that interferes with how our brain converts sounds to letters and words – leaving undiagnosed and untreated could result in academic failure for these students.

Students suffering from dyslexia often attempt to compensate by memorizing words, yet still forget what they have read or have difficulty spelling. Unfortunately, their teachers often assume these problems stem from either intelligence issues or poor work habits and fail to provide any needed help.

Reading is a fundamental academic skill, so teaching children to appreciate it is paramount. Children need access to high-quality books and reading material from various genres as well as personal reading instruction from an instructor. Furthermore, emphasising that reading can be enjoyable will only further encourage their love of literature and reading!

4. Undiagnosed Learning Difficulties

Students who struggle to read may feel embarrassed or ashamed of themselves if they don’t seek help, which can leave them falling further behind their classmates in school. Educators can support such students using various classroom strategies as well as offering tutoring services both before, after, and outside school hours.

Some children and adults experience reading difficulties due to undiagnosed learning disorders or disabilities. This could include dyslexia, which involves difficulty connecting speech sounds with letters; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; dysgraphia – difficulty writing legibly; and dyscalculia, making math equations hard for them to comprehend.

Experts in education differ on how best to teach reading. But most educators do not use evidence-based methods to develop students’ reading capabilities.

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