IV. Uluslararası Dil, Deyiş, Yazınbilim Sempozyumu, Çanakkale, Turkey, 07 May 2004, pp.497-507
According to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, child develops cognitive structures in order to respond to physical experiences he has. By this way concepts are discovered, learned and developed and within this process his linguistic skills develop as well. Similarly, according to Vygotsky’s theory of social cognition, social interaction plays a part in the development of cognitive skills of the child. Culture is the basic determinant in the development of child. Cognitive development and language acquisition realize together. Gluckberg (1967), Piaget (1979) and Merkey (1978) state that language influences cognition, attention, comprehension and learning due to its symbolic nature. For this reason, literature develops symbolic thinking and by this way the child finds it easy to comprehend the world around him and the social relations he takes part in.
When the books used for reading activities in Turkey are examined, you see that they do not have standard readability levels, except for the number of pages or age groups, which makes it difficult for children to go on reading the book and make use of it to increase his knowledge of vocabulary. As a result, the less they read, the more difficult they find to understand the text books, and this decreases their school success. In this study, first of all it has been proved that such books are not suitable for roughly-determined group of children by the help of a reading comprehension test. Secondly, the results of proficiency tests given to secondary school students by the Ministry of Education twice a year have been investigated. It has been discovered that those who have difficulty in answering reading comprehension questions get lower scores in mats, science and social subjects. Thirdly the data of the PIRLS research made by IEA to find out reading levels of fourth graders in 35 countries have been studied and we have seen that reading activities both at home and school improve the reading comprehension skills and strategies of students.
As a result, we have concluded that reading at home before the school together with parents and reading at school have an important role in the linguistic and academic development of the child. Therefore, the books which are used for such activities had better to have reading levels determined by a particular readability formula.