Term Paper: HRM Implementation Plan

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Reading is an essential component in guaranteeing academic achievement and lifelong success. For this reason, the implementation and maintaining of reading programs is essential to educational institutions. Literacy is important on both the individual and the social level. On the individual level the ability to read allows for successful achievements academically and in the workplace. On a social level, the literacy level of a community and country can greatly improve the quality of life.

The purpose of this discussion is to provide a plan concerning the implementation of a feasible reading program.

The value of reading and the need for a reading program

Educators may not always agree on every issue, but there is a genuine consensus that has formed over the years as it pertains to reading. Educators have concluded that reading is a fundamental building block of learning. That is, without the ability or the capacity to read the ability to learn is greatly diminished. The importance of reading encompasses several factors including spelling, writing, comprehension, and vocabulary development.

These factors will be discussed at greater length over the next few paragraphs.

Spelling and Writing

As it pertains to spelling an article found in the journal American Educator, explains that "Good spelling is critical for literacy, and it makes writing much easier -- allowing the writer to focus on the ideas to be conveyed, not the letters needed to put those ideas on paper (Joshi et al., 2008)." Indeed, students must have the capacity to spell if they are to succeed academically. Good spelling skills are also important in the sphere of oral communication. Good spelling enhances verbal communication because the ability to spell words properly has an influence upon the manner in which an individual pronounces words or their phonetic choices. Additionally, the ability to spell words correctly ensures that individuals can distinguish between words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings (homophones). These are words such as read and reed or lie and lye. These words have totally different meanings and if an individual does not know how to spell they will not have the capacity to use these words properly.

As a result of good spelling skills, good writing skills are also developed.

Good writing skills are also essential to a successful academic career. Within the context of an academic career students will have to write research papers, work on group projects and present oral presentations. All of these scenarios require good writing skills. Writing a research paper not only involves the collection and choosing of information to present but also the development of a thesis or hypothesis. Once the thesis or hypothesis is developed the student must have the capacity to develop a logical argument. All steps in this process involve necessitate the ability to read.

In addition to research papers students are increasingly required to work in groups throughout their academic careers and particularly in high school and college. Working in groups can be challenging and the inability to properly read and interpret the requirements of the assignment can add to the challenge. In a group setting individual members are expected to handle certain individual tasks which may include writing and/or aspects of an oral presentation. The absences of good writing skills could impede ones ability to properly participate in group activities.

In addition students are expected to give oral presentations at the middle school, high school and post secondary education levels. The ability to give an oral presentation is dependent greatly upon the capacity of the individual to properly articulate written forms of communication.

In addition, good writing skills are needed in the workforce and throughout life.

The ability to write is not diminished once an individual enters the workforce. In many cases good written and verbal communication are prerequisites to obtaining a job. In fact employers pay close attention to resumes and the verbal communication of a potential employee during job interviews. Once an individual becomes an employee, tasks such as the completion of reports, the writing of letters and oral presentations may be expected. As such the spelling and writing skills continue to be essential tools in life.

Comprehension

Another important aspect of reading is the development of comprehension skills. Comprehension or the ability to understand what is read is essential as it pertains to learning different subjects. If an individual has poor comprehension the capacity to learn is greatly diminished. In fact an article entitled "Beyond Simple Comprehension" reports that Not only is reading important, teachers recognize the importance of helping children develop reading comprehension - from the very early stages of learning to read to becoming fluent readers. Understanding what we read is at the heart of the reading process, for without it reading becomes a purposeless activity. Understanding a text also impacts upon a reader's motivation and engagement. If a child struggles to understand what they have read, they are unlikely to find reading a rewarding and enjoyable activity (Tregenza, 2008, 24)."

Keeping students engaged and interested in reading definitely presents a challenge. In many cases students are not interested in the subject matter. Many students are also distracted by technology such as video games, television, instant messaging and text messaging. Although the last two distractions require reading and writing, messages are not usually sent using standard English or grammar. Since this is the case many teachers are reporting that some students are beginning to write actual assignments using the same language they use when communicating with friends via the aforementioned technologies. In addition the use of these technologies is distracting because they are viewed by students as more exciting than reading a book. In recent years some authors have been able to produce book such as Harry Potter, that have transformed the reading habits of students and kept them engaged in the act of reading.

Vocabulary Development

Reading is also significant because it assists students in developing vocabulary which also improves both written and oral communication.

According to the article the growth of vocabulary knowledge is one of the essential prerequisites for language acquisition. Vocabulary development has been shown by psychologists to be strongly related both to cognitive development...and to the acquisition of competence in reading...the latter is, in turn, critical for success in school (Anglin et al., 1993, 2). "

The aforementioned research and examples are evidence that reading is essential to the development of people who are well rounded as it pertains the academia and eventual entry into the workforce. Skills such as spelling, writing, comprehension and vocabulary development are all fashioned through the ability to read. As such schools must pay close attention to the manner in which reading is taught at every level. When great care is not given to nurturing and enhancing the reading skills of students, serious problems can arise. These problems will be discussed in the following section of this discussion.

Reading Problems

Although many educators and educational institutions are aware of the importance of reading, many students still struggle with reading comprehension and general reading skills. Evidence of this can be seen in the reading scores of students throughout the United States and other countries. Educators and policy makers have come to realize that poor test results that are evident in grade four are often the result of poor reading programs in earlier grades. An article entitled "Below the Bar: Profiles of Students Who Fail State Reading Assessments"

We found that simple percentages of students failing the test masked empirically derived components of reading ability: meaning (comprehension and vocabulary), fluency (rate and expression), and word identification. Furthermore, even average group scores in each of these components did not tell the real story.

Instead, we found that students exhibited several distinctive patterns of performance that contributed to their poor showing on the state reading assessment. Reading failure is multifaceted and it is individual. In short, beneath each failing score is a pattern of performance that holds the key to improved reading instruction and, consequently, improved reading ability (Bully & Valencia, 2002, 232)."

This particular article provides evidence that many students are having trouble with the fundamentals of reading. These are skills that they should have been taught when they first began to read. The article also points out that many states have mandated reading programs for students that fail the reading portion of state reading assessments that are homogeneous. That is, these programs are not tailored to assist students in repairing the specific problems they may be having as it pertains to reading efficiency.

With this understood the authors insist that reading programs need to be customized so that students get the support they need.

Although these specialized reading programs are needed many programs fail to meet this criteria. This failure is problematic because it does not address the true needs of students.

Existing Reading Programs

There are many different reading programs that have been implemented through out the world. One such program is the Houghton Mifflin: Invitations to Literacy, developed by the Houghton Mifflin… [END OF PREVIEW]

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