What Is Contextual Reading? - ETCSINES

What Is Contextual Reading? - ETCSINES


I carried the textbook and I read the paragraph,some words caught my attention and i had to read the paragraph over and over again. I immediately told myself that these words i noticed did not relate to the topic alone but it had a lot of significance for so many other concepts and issues in the course of study.

It was just like the link in a strong chain, even though it has it's own place and it is located in a certain physical location , without it the chain becomes useless and incomplete. It's strength was the strength of the whole chain. This is the mindset that shows us simply what contextualreading is all about.It is a style of reading that encourages the reader to read in context of what is in the paragraph,sentence or the words, to allow the sense of imagination to create a picture out of the words, to
attach meaning to words and to relate it not only to the topic that is been read but generally to the whole subject or course that it relates to.

An example is about a student reading about the parliamentary system of government and in the context of reading takes note of words that relate to the fact that the whole essence of the parliamentary system is to ensure that people are properly represented when decisions and policies are being framed. This definitely has a significance for elections, the right to vote,the fact that you ensure your vote counts so that your choice of the person to represent you becomes a reality. You can now extend this to political participation, political associations and the process of how the candidate to be voted for emerges.

Now in essence, all this issues can also be adequately addressed in other topics but you relate to them even while you are reading specifically about the parliamentary system of government. What this style of reading intends to achieve is to make the student a master of the subject, a personality that is not limited to the topic but the subject as a whole. You read as if you are planning to teach others, you read in depth and in width.

You deliberately acquire a sense of belonging and an attitude of mastery over the subject. You are not just passing through, You become a part of the subject,you leave your mark behind. When we see some students who are eager and willing to tutor or teach their colleagues or contemporaries most of them have read the topics contextually and can relate to the topics and also link them to other parts of the subject or course.

I am so sure nobody wants to be tutored by someone who does not know more than he or she does, it will be the case of the blind leading the blind. Contextual reading is part of the concept of contextual learning developed by the Constructivist School of thought. They opine that the teacher must pass out information in a particular way that is appealing to the student and this subsequently allows and enables the student to relate it to his or her life experiences and become an embodiment of the information. 

When the student now reads after receiving information in this way, he or she can now read contextually and relate it to the bigger picture. This kind of reading obviously must be methodical, consistent and intense. It is not a style of a student in hurry or someone not given to details. It eliminates cramming totally as there is virtually no space for it to thrive. It makes the student a master of the subject and an upcoming authority on the subject.

There is a remarkable understanding of the subject taught and the student after reading is capable of outstanding delivery on the subject matter. It is time for us to embrace thus style of reading and help accelerate the extinction of cramming in the Nigerian educational sector. 

I remain Tola Arawomo

Thank you.

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