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The Reading Race: How Every Child Can Learn to Read

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The Reading Race: How Every Child Can Learn to Read

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At least one-fifth of New Zealand children are very poor readers – and that’s a conservative estimate. Compare that to the figures in the US. This result can be related directly to the `whole language’ approach to reading instruction, which has dominated in schools since the 1970s. Under this approach, it is assumed that children will pick up reading by being exposed to books, relying heavily on prediction and guessing strategies. Although the best readers can adapt to its questionable methods, this system disadvantages children from poor, uneducated and non-European homes.

In The Reading Race: How every child can learn to read Donna Awatere Huata exposes the inadequacy of the present system through both research evidence and people’s own agonizing experiences. Her compelling analysis shows how the system and its supporters have failed our most needy children. She also proposes a clear, effective solution: an approach which enables New Zealand to address the tragedy that has been inflicted on our youngest generations so they truly become a nation of readers.

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