Mar 1, 2010

Reading is great

Watching my grade 7s struggle mightily with reading even Setswana (we do bible translations, as it's the only book I have in Setswana, and they love reading it), I'm reminded again what a deep pleasure it is to be able to read fluently. Such a wide range of meaning can be imparted with so few words, and there are so many words that I know--the possibilities are dizzying. Going through the cheap Setswana dictionary with my kids there were only a couple words I didn't know (duh, it's about 3/4'' thick--but it was still interesting to probe my vocabulary).

I suppose this is just a long way of saying that being very fluent in a language is something I hadn't appreciated much before. Not just to be able to speak, write a sentence, and struggle through a newspaper, but to be able to read fast and handle sophisticated or technical topics easily. I reckon this is blindingly obvious to anyone who's ever taught literacy, and I suppose I knew this on an intellectual level, but it's still amazing. When you think about it reading is a rather complex activity, and I'm glad to be able to do it well.

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