The extent to which one can read and write determines their level of literacy. Reading and writing are part of individuals’ way of life in society. That is because, in one way or the other, almost every person engages in some reading and writing. What then motivates people to read and write? Some individuals may only read and write for a specific purpose, say reading and writing for the sake of a school program. However, some read and write because they love it and are passionate about it. Recently researchers are showing significant interests in the relationship between the reading and writing process, and the culture that revolves around reading and writing. That comes with the ability to be able to read and write during the early stages of growth. However, there still exists a gap in the impacts of one’s first experiences of reading and writing has in their perception about the same, later in life. This research thus, reviews some of the answers of the eight participants to Literary History Analysis (LHA) questionnaire, determining the impact their early reading and writing experience have on their interest about the same growing up.
Reading and writing form part of individuals’ society, in one way or the other, as the participants’ answers on the LHA questionnaire presents. Every participant testified to having participated in writing as well as reading at a given point in their lifetime. Even so, a more significant percentage only had experience with reading, of course, with the help of their family members. When it comes to writing, the majority had their first experience when they joined the school. For instance, participant 7 writes, “growing up, I always loved reading science fictions before bed. I always found them interesting and loved discussing them with friends at school. I have been writing essays since middle school…” Participant 7 recalls her experience with reading and writing, and clearly, her readings begun at home while her writing experience came with essay writings from middle school. Brandt (1994) finds out from the interview that most people typically remembered their first reading experiences as pleasurable occasions organized by adults. Such means that adults are usually supportive when it comes to helping children read. However, her findings on writings are not anything far from the feedbacks in the LHA questionnaire. According to Brandt (1994), there were few memories of writing outside school, and for those that remembered, such usually occurred out of the eye of adult supervision and, often, involving feelings of loneliness, secrecy, and resistance. Such means that the majority of writing experiences were not supported at home. What roles thence, do such experiences play in the participants lives?
Every participant agreed to have read some novels at their tender age, and the majority were only able to write when they started schooling. This early experience with reading turned more into a hobby for the majority of the individuals. At the early stages, and with the help of the family members, in this case, mostly mothers, most people had experiences with fiction novels. Majority of these people continued reading such books as they grew up to become independent. They expressively indicate their love for reading stories which originated from the experiences they were introduced to by their mothers. One participant stated, “I have always loved reading…. I think that these attitudes came from me growing up in a Jewish home, where reading books about Judaism is a norm.” This particular participant loves everything to do with reading and owes this to the early experience and the background, which requires reading of Judaism books. Such shows that the first encounters that one has of reading play a significant role in their later perception.
When one is exposed to books of a particular type, which he or she tends to enjoy, the likelihood is that they would love doing that while growing up. Those who had early experience in reading religious books such as the participant mentioned above turned out to be enjoying reading books of such type later in life. Some of the participants identified with having read fictions novels at their early development stages. As time progresses, they still love such books. The pie chart in figure 1.1 below shows a representation of the feedback given to the LHA questionnaire. The higher percentage of the participants participated in reading in their early stages. Writing, on the other hand, was very minimal, with the majority starting to write at school in different stages. Later, the impact of such early exposure pattern reveals itself, as the majority followed the same. Those that had earlier exposure to reading both fiction novels and religious books maintained this to their old ages. As a result, the percentage of those still enjoying reading is high compared to those who love writing.
Figure 1.1 a pie chart showing the ratio between and later reading and writing
One can say that early experiences when it comes to reading and writing act as a significant determinant to whether one would enjoy such later in life. The idea that most families make it a norm to read stories to their children is very substantial. That is because it positively impacts on the attitude and passion of such kids. The children tend to grow enjoying such experiences with the urge to carrying on with them. That is seen when the majority of the answers in the LHS love reading with skills drawn from their childhood memories. However, the majority of families do not introduce their children to writing early enough. That tends to impact negatively on them. The feedbacks show that most of the writings are school initiated. This means that the majority write for the sake of completing a task and not out of passion. As a result, not so many people grow up to love writing, as some would compare to reading.
Moreover, even for those who tend to write, say out of passion, they do so for their benefits. That means not the majority would love to write for the public, because their parents in the early days never exposed them to writing. Participant 3 explains, “I happen to love writing when not graded.” Why when not graded? Majority of individuals lack the confidence of presenting their own writings, especially since it represents own thoughts. Parents are never used to writing in the presence of their kids to bring out such confidence. Brandt (1994) as well discusses most of the interviewees being unable to write publicly but for private reasons. That is owed to the fact that they lack such exposure from their parents during their early years. As a result, one could say that early reading and writing experiences are essential in determining the literacy level of an individual. Having supportive parents during the early years in terms of helping one learn to read and write would turn out to be a positive thing in developing their literacy growth.
In a nutshell, Reading and writing are part of individuals’ way of life in society. That is mainly because almost every person engages in some reading and writing. The reviews of some of the answers of the eight participants to Literary History Analysis (LHA) questionnaire confirms that. In addition, the reviews help identify the impacts of exposing one to reading and writing early in life. From the review, it was determined that early reading and writing experience play a significant role in one’s willingness to become a writer or read later on. Every participant testified to having participated in writing as well as reading at a given point in their lifetime. Even so, a more significant percentage only had experience with reading, of course, with the help of their family members. When it comes to writing, the majority had their first experience when they joined a school. It is therefore conclusive that early experiences when it comes to reading and writing act as a huge determinant to whether one would enjoy such later in life. The idea that most families make it a norm to read stories to their children is very significant. That is because it positively impacts on the attitude and passion of such kids. The children tend to grow enjoying such experiences with the urge to carrying on with them.
Brandt, D. (1994). Remembering writing, remembering reading. College Composition and Communication, 45(4), 459-479.
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