“When the reading brain skims texts, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings or to perceive beauty. We need a new literacy for the digital age”
By: Maryanne Wolf
Published: The Guardian, 25 August 2018 · https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/25/skim-reading-new-normal-maryanne-wolf
Level of difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
· The evolutionary roots of the reading brain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZgixRg3myk
· Psychotactics: why slow reading beats speed reading https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrAPVw0i57Y
· Skimming versus close reading https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUMkK_BajUc
1. Why is the obsession of people with electronic communication described in the text significant?
2. Would it be correct to say that our brain has developed over millennia in response demands made on us or would it be better to say that our brain evolved over the millennia as it was programmed to do?
3. What would be the logical conclusion to be drawn from the above?
4. Sherry Turkle states that we should:
· Not be too eager to innovate
· Respond with caution to innovations
· Focus on deep reading skills nevertheless
· Focus on deep reading skills also
5. It is necessary to pay careful attention to the development of the reading circuit because unlike other abilities….
6. Does it really matter that much if our reading circuit is changing to adapt to the way we consume digital media or use electronic communication? Why or why not?
7. What does “this” refer to in the phrase “bear this out”?
8. Students’ avoidance of classic literature is significant because it implies that there is a widespread loss of…
9. What interesting conclusion may be drawn from the experiment conducted in Norway?
10. Ziming Liu proved in his experiment that we only touch the surface/ barely penetrate the surface / glide along the surface of a reading passage because we don’t skim/ scan/preview/predict/read/write properly. Mark as many as necessary.
11. A lot of bookworms claim they prefer the actual book to the screen when reading this may be the case because they……..The screen on the other hand doesn’t give them the opportunity to…
12. What frightening finding did the US media researchers make?
13. We understand from the text that the loss of deep reading processes should concern us all because it hampers our efforts to…
14. The writer of the texts advocates a return to the cultivation of deep reading skills / advocates a two pronged approach / advocates a focus on what exactly we lose.
15. The only way we can aspire to the kind of society described in the last paragraph is by fostering the development of….
Discuss the reasons why many visitors to this blog find the reading questions too tough. Hint: they all require critical thinking and deep reading skills.
SKIM READING IS THE NEW NORMAL. THE EFFECTS ON SOCIETY ARE PROFOUND; KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
If, like me, you have been wondering why students who logically should be highly intelligent manage to be, well to be blunt, seriously lacking when attempting deep reading tasks like the ones on this blog and the inferential questions they include, here is your answer. I read the text and prepared the task you have before you with the very greatest pleasure. I hope you find it useful.
1. Because the neuronal circuit that underlies the brain’s ability is subtly, rapidly changing as a result. (Needs to be added for the answer to make sense)
2. The first
3. Each of our deep reading skills may be under threat
4. The last
5. It is not given to human beings through a genetic blue print
6. Yes it does because the slower time-demanding slow reading skills are indispensible to learning at any age.
7. The negative effects of screen reading can appear as early as fourth and fifth grade
8. The ability to read with a level of critical analysis sufficient to comprehend the complexity of thought and argument found in more demanding texts
9. Digital screen use may be causing a variety of troubling downstream effects on reading comprehension in older high school and college students.
10. All true for the first lot, read
11. Need a knowledge of where they are in time and space that allows them to return to things and learn from re-examination / look back
12. Negative effects of screen reading can appear as early as fourth and fifth grade
13. Navigate a constant bombardment of information
14. Advocates a two pronged approach
15. A bi-literate brain