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On the subject of reading being the basis of all learning (as raised
most recently by Shannon): this past semester I taught a basic math
course at Bloomfield College that emphasized word problems more
heavily than any other basic math course I've taught.  Doing that
made me realize more than ever that students' problems with math
stem not only from lack of understanding of math concepts, but from
a lack of comprehension of written information regardless of content.
It was jarring for me to realize just how limited their *math* learning
could be because of their limited skills in *reading comprehension*;
how the two skills really cannot be separated, and how a poor reader
is doomed in just about every other area as well.
And how frustrating because the students with the greatest
reading problems value reading the least and are the least aware of
how handicapped they are.