Reading: a basic competence for universitary studies

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  • Publicado : 7 de junio de 2010
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One reason that university students fail to achieve successfully in course work is the lack of reading skills. Reading, writing and reasoning are stated to be the basic competences for the success of any university student.

Reading/Comprehension abilities allow students to access knowledge, understand and elaborate conceptsalways integrating information from lectures and reference book’s content. When teachers are asked to refer to their students’ reading competence, they frequently mention that students do not read analytically, can not distinguish between important and unimportant ideas, can not adjust their reading to the different materials they encounter, and do not seem to enjoy reading.

The ability to readwell is no longer something teachers take for granted in their students. Students seem to have more and more trouble reading. Since reading is comprehension, students who cannot acceptably reconstruct the author’s main idea, supporting ideas and supporting facts as well some critical evaluation of those things, cannot read for the purposes of their course.

Reading Skills
The universitystudent needs to achieve skills appropriate to the involved task in reading.
Through diagnosis, one can find out weak links in reading achievement of students.

The first skill they must develop is reading for securing generalizations. Too frequently students read content as isolated facts. It becomes difficult to retain specific items. More exactly, university students need guidance to perceive therelationships of content. After reading a given selection, the teacher may ask students to give one sentence covering subject matter read. The one sentence or main idea can be support, modified or refuted by providing supporting details.

In this way, the specifics are related to a larger whole, such as the main idea. The facts are then not acquired in fragments, but become a part of broadgeneralization. For example, if a student presents a main idea from reading a selection that “Simon Bolivar was a visionary in integrationist beliefs”, facts would need to be given by the reader as supporting details. Educational psychologists have long believed that related knowledge is remembered longer than unrelated. Increased understanding comes from content perceived as being related.

Asecond reading skill for higher education students to develop is analytical reading. Reading proficiency demands that the student analyze what has been read. To analyze, the student needs to separate the relevant from the irrelevant, the significant from the insignificant, as well as the accurate form the inaccurate.
For example, in discussing Plato’s Republic, university students should analyzethat people in society could be divided into three classes – rulers, warriors and workers- to represent justice in the societal area. Of lesser value in saliency would be that individuals drank water from the river Leeds. The latter would be highly specific and would not in and of itself be necessary to retain to understand the concept of justice in dividing people into three classes in Plato’sRepublic.

Accuracy of subject matter is always important to acquire with the mass amount of knowledge available to readers, it becomes complex indeed to remember ideas and their accurate form. Conscientious authors as well as lecturers at times present the inaccurate. It might be a year of birth such as Immanuel Kant incorrectly listed as being born in 1824, instead of 1724. The times and settingdiffer for philosophers so that Kant’s life span covering 1724-1804 represents a period of time in which philosophical beliefs can greatly vary from one decade to the next or one century to the next. Philosophies occur in time and place and need to be estimated within this context.

A third reading skill for university students to achieve is problem solving. Much of life in society emphasizes...
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