Att kunna läsa innan skolstarten : läsutveckling och lärandemiljöer hos tidiga läsare

Sammanfattning: The current study investigated the factors that have a positive impact on reading development by examining the influence of the home and school environment on students who started school already able to read (early readers).  The reading proficiency of the students in the study was determined by a variety of reading tests conducted at the beginning of the school year and students were identified as “early readers”, “average readers”, or “non readers”.  The intent was to provide a comprehensive picture of early readers with an emphasis on historical, cultural, and social factors.  Many factors influence the development of reading, but this study concentrated on the learning environment at home and in the school.  Several methods were used to facilitate a broad description of the reading development of early readers, including observations, interviews, questionnaires, and reading tests.  The theoretical concepts were derived from a social constructivist perspective and build on Vygotsky’s theories of learning and development.  Among the factors considered were formal reading instruction and literacy. The results demonstrated that the early readers’ reading ability greatly exceeded that of their classmates at the start of the formal school experience. The early readers maintained this advantage through the first three years of school, but the gap was reduced over time.  A comparison of the timing of the reading development showed that the early readers developed primarily before the start of school, while the average readers developed during school years one and two, and the non readers, during school year two.  A comparison of the learning environments in home and school showed considerable differences.  Learning in the home came about as a result of the child’s interests and occurred in the zone of proximal development.  Parents gave support without controlling the activities and, along with older siblings, served as good models for reading.  In the school setting, the national curriculum and the goals set in the syllabus determined the content of the instruction.  The child’s interest did not guide the learning and early readers often worked on concepts they had already mastered.  Early readers also worked independently more often, facilitated by their ability to read instructions.  As a result, the individualization that occurred was often simply that children accomplished the same tasks in different amounts of time. This study concluded that the stimulation and support that parents provide can have a significant impact on reading learning and development.  It is important that teachers take into account the prior knowledge and experiences that children have, since this can greatly impact their motivation to learn.  Reading development does not occur at any one specific age, but can be influenced by a number of factors including the child’s development in other areas, and historical, social, or cultural influences.

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