Kindergarten is the basic foundation of reading. Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning leading to comprehension. Reading is a means of knowledge acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. Thus, needless to say, reading is essential to everyone’s life.
Acquiring this skill is a long and arduous process. This may be acquired through formal and informal education. The best way, however, is through formal education. Under the K to 12 Program, reading is a process of learning from Kindergarten to Grade III. It must be carefully and responsibly be founded in the Kindergarten and Grade I levels, where the 14 domains are introduced to the learners.
In the Kindergarten level, where a five-year old learner is introduced to the reading skills, the three domains must be effectively emphasized. First, the “writing skills” where a child will learn the different strokes in writing the alphabets. Second, “alphabet knowledge” where the child masters the writing and recognition of the letters of the alphabet, in proper order and in upper and lower cases. Third, the “reading readiness process” where the sounds of the letters of the alphabet are carefully introduced. This is what we call “Phonological Awareness.” As a matter of fact, this domain is the baseline of acquiring reading with proper diction and intonation.
Being a Grade 1 teacher for 16 years, I am confident that if these three domains will be effectively and efficiently delivered, practical and developmental reading skills will be acquired by every child. The Department of Education’s policy of “NO READ, NO PASS” bespeaks of a responsibility and love for the learners. This policy is possible, feasible and integral especially with a curriculum intended to make every child a reader.
As reading is the soul of learning, it will allow a learner to gain knowledge, to experience different worlds presented in books, to imagine beyond the four corners of the classroom, and to motivate further appreciation of what’s in store for a child in a very big world. #
The author is Principal II of Gutad Elementary School.