Teaching reading across the curriculum in secondary school
CITATION: Le Cordeur, M. 2012. Teaching reading across the curriculum in secondary school. In Wood, L. & Wolhuter, C.C. (eds). 2013. Criticality, Creativity and Connections: In pursuit of educational innovations. Proceedings of the 2012 Annual Conference of EASA, 17-20 January 2012, p. 145-160
Since our country became a democracy various attempts have been made by the South African government to improve the literacy levels in the country through various literacy and reading campaigns and educator training. Yet, systemic evaluation undertaken by the National Department of Basic Education indicates that the literacy skills of students are still much lower than what is needed for them to learn and develop effectively. Reading is one of the most important academic tasks faced by students. Many students entering higher education are not adequately prepared to meet the challenges of higher education mainly because they cannot read at the required level. This paper highlights the literacy situation in South Africa with a particular focus on reading in secondary school. In addition, I am arguing that reading across the curriculum should be one of the main goals of education and all teachers should also be teachers of reading. The paper highlights the importance of teaching students reading strategies across the curriculum in order to improve their reading comprehension, thereby enhancing their chances of academic success. The implications of this research for policy makers and the Department of Basic Education are outlined and some suggestions are made to ensure that all teachers of content also teach reading.