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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78091 Find in a Library
Title: Reading Failure - A Predictor of Delinquency
Journal: Crime Prevention Review  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:(April 1975)  Pages:24-30
Author(s): T J Taglianetti
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on research which shows that about 30 percent of the general population learn through auditory rather than visual processes, this article proposes a restructuring of educational methods to teach this student group reading and thereby prevent delinquency.
Abstract: Reading failure is becoming a significant predictor of juvenile delinquency, as evidenced in studies which demonstrate that many inmates of juvenile detention facilities read substantially below grade level. Reading experts have failed to develop adequate solutions to reading difficulties, partly because they have never questioned the assumption that every normal child should be able to read the English language. Studies of individual learning modes show that 55-60 percent of the population learn primarily through the visual channel, while another 10-15 percent have the ability to learn through visual means. However, about 25-30 percent neither prefer nor have extensive ability to learn visually, but rely on their auditory channels, such as ears, auditory memory, and association. Visual learners have little difficulty reading the English language, but auditory learners have serious problems because the language is largely composed of configurational words that are not spelled as they are sounded. Thus, the auditory preferential learner with average or above intelligence cannot be expected to read beyond the fourth to sixth grade level if taught by conventional methods. Countries such as Italy, France, and Spain whose languages are completely phonetic have far fewer reading problems than are reported in England and the United States. Following a chart of characteristics to guide the diagnosis of learning modal preferences, the article contends that extra instruction to help poor readers often leads to reading phobia and rebellion against school, while multimedia materials simply distract both visual and auditory learners. A study of 200 former residents of juvenile detention facilities found that 65-70 percent were auditory preferential readers, suggesting that reading failure is an important factor in delinquent behavior. Proposed changes in educational practices which would improve reading skills include developing a classmate edition that uses phonetic work equivalents for every standard text, tailoring academic standards to learning modal preferences, and having taped versions of all printed materials in all public schools. In addition, students should have the option of presenting work and taking tests in written or oral form.
Index Term(s): Education; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Learning disabilities
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