As in, the student I'm worried about, not the student who worries a lot.
I met recently with a student in one of my lower level courses to talk about an assignment based on some readings. As I looked at what the student has worked on, and talked to the student, I realized that they didn't understand the vocabulary they were reading (this isn't, say, Shakespeare, but modern English, an essay aimed at first year students). But when they read something aloud, they substituted similar looking (but often different meaning) words, and read along without realizing.
I'm sort of at a loss. I suggested that the student slow down when they're reading, look up lots of words, and such. But it seems that lacking a basic vocabulary would make the world incredibly hard to navigate, so I worry about this student not only as a student, but as an adult, trying to work, make decisions, vote, etc.
My understanding is that kids who read a lot tend to develop a way better vocabulary, and that kids who don't, don't develop as strong a vocabulary. But it seems like the person who already doesn't read a lot is at a double disadvantage; they haven't developed the vocabulary, and they haven't developed the habits that are likely to help them develop a stronger vocabulary.
I don't know quite what to do. It seems almost punitive to send a note to the central advising office, doesn't it? I've suggest to everyone in my classes that they make regular use of the writing office, tutoring offices, etc. Should I make an extra point with this student?
What do you folks do?