Activity which was almost unknown to the learned in the early days of the history, while during the fifteenth century the term "reading" undoubtedly meant reading aloud. Only during the nineteenth century did silent reading become popular.
One should be careful, however, of supposing that silent reading came about simply because reading aloud is distraction (分散留意力) to others. Examination of reasons connected with the historical development of silent reading shows that it became the usual mode of reading for most adult reading tasks mainly because the tasks themselves changed in character.
The last century saw a gradual increase in literacy (读写能力) and thus in the number of readers. As readers increased, so the number of listeners dropped, and thus there was some reduction in the need to read aloud. As reading for the benefit of listeners grew less common, so came the popularity of reading as a private activity in such public places as libraries, trains and offices, where reading aloud would disturb other readers in a way.
Towards the end of the century there was still heated argument over whether books should be used for information or treated respectfully, and over whether the reading of material such as newspapers was in some way mentally weakening. Indeed this argument remains with us still in education. However, whatever its advantages, the old shared literacy culture had gone and was replaced by the printed mass media (媒介) on the one hand and by books and magazines for a specialized readership on the other.
By the end of the century students were being advised to have some new ideas of books and to use skills in reading them which were not proper, if not impossible, for the oral reader. The social, cultural, and technological developments in the century had greatly changed what the term "reading" referred to.
1. Why was reading aloud common before the nineteenth century?
A. Because silent reading had not been discovered.
B. Because there were few places for private reading.
C. Because few people could read for themselves.
D. Because people depended on reading for enjoyment.
2. The development of silent reading during the nineteenth century showed .
A. a change in the position of literate people
B. a change in the nature of reading
C. an increase in the number of books
D. an increase in the average age of readers
3. Educationalists are still arguing about _________.
A. the importance of silent reading
B. the amount of information provided by books and newspapers
C. the effects of reading on health
D. the value of different types of reading material#p#分页标题#e#
4. What is the writer of this passage attempting to do?
A. To explain how present day reading habits developed.
B. To change people's way to read.
C. To show how reading methods have improved.
D. To encourage the growth of reading.
KEY: 1-4 CBDA