What is the meaning and importance of Reading?

Reading and its meaning:

Reading is one of the skills among the four skills of language learning. After learning to listen and speak a language, a person has to learn to read and then write a language in order to have mastery of all the four skills of language learning.

Reading, like listening, is a decoding process a process to recognise graphic symbols and their corresponding vocal sounds. Reading is a complex process involving many physical, intellectual and often emotional reactions. Reading is an ability of enabling the learners to understand a language in written form with the purpose of being able to extract the thoughts, facts, meanings and information that it was meant to give.

Reading is a passive but a most important skill of language learning. Learning to read a language means to decipher the whole world. By reading good English, we can develop a feeling and insight into the working of the languages. Reading holds the key to the development of real communicative competence in English.

The reading skill consists of three important components:

  • Recognition of the graphic marks.
  • Correlation of these with formal linguistic elements.
  • Correlation of these with meaning.

Importance of Reading:

Dr West, a linguist after experimenting in his own way said that the best way to teach English effectively is through reading the language to learn as learning to read is the shortest method for learning a language.

The importance of reading can be well described in the form of following points

  • Learning to read English is an easy method and a child average or below average can begin at a very early stage.
  • Reading leads to a better understanding of the language, hence it gives a better hold on language.
  • Reading acquaints a learner with the latest trends and happenings the world over. It helps in knowing world news, information about discoveries and inventions, etc through journals, newspapers, magazines, books etc.
  • Reading is the best source of recreation as books are the best and the everlasting friends. In leisure hours, one can enter the world of knowledge, the world of literature or entertainment with the help of lot many books available on various aspects.
  • Moral and value based education can be imparted through books.
  • Reading equips the learner with complete control over words and patterns which they are to use during speaking or they are to listen while someone is speaking.
  • Reading enhances experience. A lot of reading exposes us to various ideologies given by various thinkers, philosophers etc from time to time, helping us in framing, modifying or even changing our thinking sometimes.

Lord Bacon, has rightly remarked, “Reading makes a full man and writing an exact man.”