Motivation to read is not enough 

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When I was 4, I was hooked on Sesame Street. I was obsessed with Count von Count and his amazing musicianship! 

I decided to become a professional pipe organ player. My surprised parents enrolled me in lessons. I listened to Bach. Deep in my bones, I felt destined for pipe organ greatness.

But something went wrong! When I went for my first lesson, I couldn’t play Toccata in D Minor. I couldn’t even find the D!

But my teacher played expertly and without effort. But she seemed to assume organ-playing was natural for everyone. 

Her lessons were way too advanced for me. I didn’t practice. My teacher got cross. I gave up! Boo! 

So what does my failure have to do with reading? 

Most beginning readers start out highly motivated to learn to read. But learning to read is unnatural, and hard work.

It doesn’t matter if you have a passion for stories or a thirst for knowledge about Ancient Egypt.  

If you can’t read the words on the page, you won’t understand what you’re reading, and you’ll quickly lose interest!

Early decodable texts are not classic literature. They’re like scales in music. They help beginners succeed with the basics. To gain confidence and fluency.

I lost motivation for pipe-organ playing because it was way too hard for me at the beginning. 

Don’t make the same mistake with beginning readers! 

As Paul Kirshner says:

Success/achievement leads to motivation to continue and not the other way around. Motivation can get you started, but success will keep you going!

YouTube video

Early decodable resources:

Man wearing glasses and a suit, standing in front of a bay

Hi there, I’m David Kinnane.

Principal Speech Pathologist, Banter Speech & Language

Our talented team of certified practising speech pathologists provide unhurried, personalised and evidence-based speech pathology care to children and adults in the Inner West of Sydney and beyond, both in our clinic and via telehealth.

David Kinnane
Speech-Language Pathologist. Lawyer. Father. Reader. Writer. Speaker.

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