By Edgardo José Hidalgo Chacón - School of Education Student
“Reading habits empower pupils to augment their vocabulary, communicate advancer, and highly generate the macro skill of writing” (Erekson, Opitz & Schendel, 2019, p. 41). Through reading, people gain or strengthen skills that favor oral or written communication, criticality, and different outlook when adapting to any speech register or background. Several investigations in cognitive neuroscience at the Laboratory of Language Dynamics in Lyon, France, have shown that students who have more contact with literature develop greater neural networks, promote both hemispheres, and leave because speech production encodes phonological and orthographic areas. In contrast, in the right hemisphere, creativity is enhanced since serotonin is secreted when reading is enjoyed. Reading makes it possible to enhance writing techniques because of the neuronal process and endow the terminology and intrinsically master the language, which is expected when students are immersed in a second language learning pathway.
Being in a consistent reading approach generates benefits in language learning and writing skills, both essential for students learning a second language. “Reading is the path to mastering a language, since this expertise is inherent to the disposing of language acquisition, given that it activates the left hemisphere of the brain, which handles language and for providing analytical skills” (O'Mahony, 2020, p. 76). The preceding is because the reading refining involves the frontal lobe, where Wernicke's area is located, in charge of the comprehension cycle, and the temporal cortex deciphers each symbol or code of the alphabet. Besides, reading generates crucial processes in the left hemisphere that commit to knowledge and apprehension.
The reading process facilitates the growth and comprehension of vocabulary, which advocates the writing task since there is a mastery of the terms in context and enhances writing fluency. “Reading fortifies the accumulation and apprehension of terminology that finally translates into fluent, contextualized, and content-rich writing” (Carr & O'Mahony, 2019, p. 43). Based on the former, reading in writing is appreciated because the more one reads, the higher the writing rates. When what is read is remembered, specifically vocabulary that can be used, the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are activated since these regions are to work memory and thought content. “When learners are in a constant link with reading, the limbic system is activated and supports composing, because emotions are evoked that encourage students to write” (Sprenger, 2020, p. 52). Because of the above, the important role of reading in writing processes is conceived, where the vocabulary achieved through reading encourages the macro skill of composing, thanks to cognitive neuroscience. Also, it leaves the legacy that emotions have a high impact on the path of learning.
Despite the above, the reading proceeding can be endless, tedious, or wearisome for many learners, which should not be ignored since the need to consider the representational systems, formerly called learning styles. This scene implies having to adapt the mediation to learn and strengthen the macro skill of writing. Such intervention should be through the adaptation of readings to other modalities such as audiobooks or animated books because despite having to examine pupil preferences, reading should prevail, but through different methods that are ingenious and capture the students' attention. The counterargument of many students' low interest in reading is not left aside; nevertheless, they should be inspired by employing playful activities that awaken their attention and interest in the reading process.
Considering the above arguments, it highlights the importance of reading in writing handling since it is conceived as learning to the scaffold, where reading provides the raw material that can be used in composing. More than understanding developing writing skills and expanding vocabulary, students can have a greater command of the language, which is predicted when learning a second language. Therefore, before stating that students dislike reading and do not know how to write well, it is a priority to ask ourselves to what extent our didactic mediation inspires and motivates students to read, and then apply the knowledge in the writing pathway.