21st Century Skills

Learning to read, reading to learn

In our daily conversations we engage with others by asking questions while we communicate. We also make connections to previous discussions or experiences to make links to the current conversation. We also picture what people are telling us and sometimes predict what will happen if a certain action is taken. At the end of conversations we might summarise the discussion to ensure that we understood what the other person was trying to say.

For learners to read with understanding a similar process, as described above, needs to happen between the reader and the text. They ask questions about what they read and make connections to their personal experiences, other books they have read or the wider world. They create ‘a movie’ in their head and make their understanding real. They predict what will happen, sometimes confirming and other times rejecting their predictions. They retell what they have read or, at an even higher level, summarise what they have read in their own words.

Curro Intermediate Phase educators teach a total of 11 reading comprehension strategies that allow learners to develop deep meaningful understanding, which allow them to move from learning to read to reading to learn. The 11 reading comprehension strategies described above do not always develop naturally in readers and therefore need to be explicitly taught to learners.
Curro is the only private school group in South Africa to develop comprehension skills explicitly through the implementation of an excellent literacy resource, the Flixie books.

The Flixie books support educators to model the comprehension strategies, while learners practice and develop these skills through a process of gradual release of responsibility.
The educators are coaching the Grade 4 to 6 learners’ brains to develop these comprehension strategies that would stand them in good stead in further studies, the world of work or life in general as life-long readers.

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