Friday, September 27, 2013

KL - Smart People Read

I just saw a post by a friend on Facebook about the best and worst habits of people with a high IQ.  One of the best habits was that they read.  Along with it was a blurb that caught my attention.  If you read just 15 minutes a day, by the end of the year, you will have exposed yourself to 1 million words!

When I was teaching middle school, I read an article on vocabulary acquisition that was very startling.  Only 20% of vocabulary acquisition is through direct instruction.  The other 80% is acquired through reading.  Is there any doubt that each generation seems to sound more and more unintelligent as reading takes a bench seat over video games and social media?

Surely you have noticed that avid readers usually have a better vocabulary.  It’s true, and it’s inevitable.  Am I the only one who finds that I start using words like the characters in the stories I read?  You can always tell when I’m reading Jane Austen.  My language adapts to the cadence and vocabulary of that time period for a while.  It’s actually probably pretty annoying.

Anyhow, my point I ponder is concerning the chicken and the egg.  Is it really that a person reads because he is smart, or is a person more intelligent because he reads?  I am more inclined to believe the later.

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