Literacy and Liberty

Learning to Read
Posted by: , September 21, 2018, 2:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

For me, as with most other people, learning to read and write is just something that happened naturally. While my first spoken language was Russian, I wouldn’t say that this was the first language I became truly literate in. In fact, I don’t have strong memories of myself reading books in Russian as I do with English. After kindergarten, I became fluent in English and developed a passion for reading. My earliest memories involve reading the Geronimo Stilton book series during my first grade reading time. Whenever we read books aloud as a class, I was volunteering myself to read.

Something that sticks out in my memory are the Scholastic Book Fairs we used to have at my elementary school from time to time. I used to love walking past all of the tables filled with books and reading blurb after blurb. I would always be one of the last few students at these book fairs and I ended up reading quite a few of the books that I found there. I think that exposing children to books at an early age makes them much more likely to enjoy learning to read and write. Simply instructing them out of monotonous spelling books and reading exercises would never be as effective. I credit my ability to read and write to these early experiences where I was given the opportunity to choose books that I was interested in and wanted to read.

3 Comments so far
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I thought it was an interesting piece to add the fact that your first language is interesting. Reading and writing takes many forms, including different languages and it was cool how you drew the comparison between Russian and English for you. My situation was a little different while learning to read and write but it was cool to see you were so into books as a kid because I definitely wasn’t.

   Evan Rosenberg 09.23.18 @ 1:57 pm

Its so funny, I used to go to Scholastic book fairs that my school held too!! I remember those Geromino Stilton books, except mine were the French version that my school had in the library. They were really fun. I also totally agree with you. Being interested and engaged in what one reads at a young age paves a path for ones individual interests in literature.

   natasha 09.24.18 @ 2:13 pm

Great post, Dan. I wonder if your clearer memories of learning to read and write in English owe to having had to learn the language *on purpose,* in school and through things like Scholastic books, rather than by way of your folks.

Natasha’s response to your post has me wondering, too, whether there are Russian editions of the Geronimo Stilton books. (I’ve never heard of this series–my loss!)

   Professor Seiler 09.25.18 @ 8:00 pm

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