Reading Comprehension, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Introduction

Reading and comprehension are important skills that are required for almost all jobs.  Reading is the ability to acquire knowledge and provide self-education; this in turn allows you to relate such information to others.  Comprehension is about understanding and interpreting the words and meanings of what you are reading.  You may be able to read something but not necessarily comprehend its’ true meaning; often the case with learners of English as a Foreign Language. In the context of nursing this is particularly important for nurses in the USA where English is not the first language.  It is important that Nursing staff have good literary skills that encompass both reading and comprehension.

Reading Technology

Reading has always been important for people in order to educate themselves and acquire knowledge. The traditional concept has been the use of textbooks both hardback and paperback as these offer portability and a tactile reading experience.  Things are changing though and the electronic age has heralded many different means of reading and the younger people have responded in preference to these technological changes.  One of the big innovations in recent years was the introduction of e-book (electronic book readers) as produced by the likes of Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes and Noble .

This is an amazing concept as the readers are the size of a small notebook, offering easy portability, and contain a vast amount of storage enabling you to store literally hundreds of books.  In essence you are walking around with you own small personalized library.  As these are custom made for e-book reading they offer a range of services including search facilities, indexing, browsing, and the ability to download a variety of additional downloadable media including magazine or journal articles, internet articles, white papers etc.

An addition to this technology also includes Personal Computers (notebooks and laptops) that also offer similar opportunities for e-reading but perhaps lack the portability of the Kindle or Nook devices.  USB Pen drives have become another portable means of downloading and storing text files and these simple little devices can be carried with you in a top pocket and plugged into any convenient portable computer.  Others are storing texts in online storage files and gaining access to them remotely from internet cafes or anywhere where they can obtain a wireless connection.  Cell Phones are equally being enhanced to contain different media including storage of text.  They lack adequate screen size however for any serious reading and items like the Nook or Kindle (proper e-book readers) are to be preferred.  The e-book readers are equipped with numerous add-ons like back lighters, handy carrying cases and additional storage modules.

Skill Deficiencies in Reading and Comprehension

An English essay written by a British teenager in text messaging short-hand has reignited concern among teachers that literacy standards are under threat. The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Monday that the 13-year-old’s teacher could not decipher what the youngster had written. “I could not believe what I was seeing. The page was riddled with hieroglyphics, many of which I simply could not translate” (Reuters)

What the above stated example shows is that a great deal of the younger generation are texting and communicating through a newly accepted language media.  Although the teacher could not decipher this, nevertheless, it cannot be simply dismissed as illiteracy if the student is able to communicate to other less educated people who understand or can translate the code. The question seems to go deeper than this – for example: if we let the decline of English Language fall to an unacceptable level, then, we are at mortal danger of losing the very culture we have built.  As such the new generations will not expose themselves to classical or great works of literature and as such deprive themselves of a valuable part of their education and upbringing.  “As we look at our data, we absolutely have to look at new ways to ensure the academic success of our young people.” (Tracey)

 

References

Reuters. Text message baffles British teacher. 3 3 2003. http://www.cnn.com/2003/EDUCATION/03/03/offbeat.text.essay.reut/index.html. 7 2 2012.

Tracey, J. Keeping the boys away from the girls. 8 5 2008. http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/05/09/keeping_the_boys_away_from_the_girls/. 6 2 2012.

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