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Social Motivations

Brooke Kelly's picture

Last Thursday in class, we discussed the journal entry about a first grade student who had been given a minor role in her school play because English was her second language, and therefore she was not as fluent as the other students. The writer of this journal entry describee this experience as a turning point that motivated her to develop her reading and speaking skills in English. While reading and discussing this post, I began to wonder about that pivital moment in every young students' life when they decide that it is time to commit to learning their language and to read. As a college student, I understand both the functional purpose and the societal norm that states that around the age of five, children should start to learn to read. However, when you are five, you are still oblivious to these societal norms. This is where my question stems from. What is it that inspires a young student who barely understands the importance of reading, to want to read? I believe that in the case of this specific journal entry, it was the realization that an inability to read English would socially separate her from her peers. This caused me to reflect on the ways that social pressures are present even at this early age. I believe that without the pressure/support/and desire to fit in with your peers (an innate desire) students would not be as motivated to learn to read, or for that matter, develop any other skill.