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The Importance Of The Act Of Reading” By Paulo Freire Essay

1423 words - 6 pages

4BredahlHarlie Cheyenne BredahlProfessor Peter EppsComposition II08 September 2014I"The Importance of the Act of Reading" by Paulo Freire, describes the importance of the act of reading beyond numerous experiences in his life as a child, a teenager, and an adult. Freire begins his article by taking readers back to where he was born, in his home city Recife, Brazil. He uses very itemized imagery to describe the trees, the house and the atmosphere of where he grew up and how the text, words, and letters were incarnated in the series of things, objects, and signs. He describes the trees, the house and the atmosphere of where he grew up and how the text, words, and letters were incarnated in the ...view middle of the document...

Freire compares the ways in which experience itself is read through communication of the self and the world. From reading Paulo Freire's "The Importance of the Act of Reading," and E.D. Hirsh's "Cultural Literacy," I support that rather than just reading the text, letters, or words, reading should be preceded by and linked with knowledge of one's existential experience of their world to relate and grasp a better understanding of the text. In addition, I suspect that students do not always obtain and comprehend all the life's lessons within literature that they are tasked to learn and read in a school system's curriculum..Freire is conveying in both a conventional context of literacy and in a cultural, spiritual sense that people learn to read the world within their own personal and worldly context, so we can recapture and better understand the word. Hirsh conveys that there is a decline in our nation's ability to digest and grasp reading, references and lack of familiarity with things and he portrays an example of this in his article. He devised a study by comparing the effects of two groups similar in age, sex, marital status, education level, and professional specialty, on their reading speed and accuracy of comprehension by giving them familiar and non-familiar letters. Both letters were very similar, except one was about an American wedding, the other about an Indian wedding; both groups read both letters. Their speed and reading comprehension were very different for each assigned reading. The Americans read the American wedding letter skillfully and accurately, but did poorly when reading about the Indian wedding letter, and vise versa when the Indians read about the American wedding and Indian wedding. The conclusion of this study is that "reading is not just a linguistic skill, but involves transliguistic knowledge beyond the abstract sense of words" (Hirsh 294-295). Americans had an easier time reading about the American wedding because the topic was familiar to them especially since it was within their culture. However, when it came to reading about the Indian wedding, the accuracy and speed decreased because they could not relate or were not familiar with the terms or statements in the letter. Schools often require reading materials containing unfamiliar subjects to students. Recognizing that there is significance for critical understanding of the text itself as well as the act of reading, this explains why many students today struggle with reading material that is not relevant to their lifestyle. Freire portrays that by the statement, "reading the world precedes reading the word, and reading the word implies continually reading the world" (Freire 286). A person should read their world, and then interpret it. They can then use their existential experience of the world to connect to what they are reading in print, and better understand it."Reading a text as pure description of an object, and undertaken to mechanically memorize the...

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