July 29, 2008

Krashen on NYT Reading

There's been a lot of talk in the blogs lately about this article in the NYTimes about the internet and reading. I think an overuse of the net may cause issues with attention, but not reading. I myself have recently axed Facebook, Goodreads and most other social networking sites. I've also probably halved my feeds in my reader. Im trying to stay focused on school and upcoming graduate work.

Here's Stephen Krashen's more sober take on the internet/reading issue:

In "Literacy debate: On R U Reading?" (July 27, Books), Dana Gioia, chair of the
National Endowment for the Arts, thinks that there has been a decline in reading
ability and it is because of the internet. There has been no decline. National
reading scores for 4th and 8th graders have increased since 1992, and 12th
graders have dropped five points since 1992, not much on a test in which the top
and bottom 10% differ by 90 points. So far, studies suggest that internet reading
results in more print reading and improved reading ability, as the Times
notes. The real problem is low literacy attainment among children from low-income
families, which research shows is related to lack of access to reading material.
Let's stop worrying about the internet and start worrying about improving
libraries in areas of high poverty. --Stephen Krashen