Friday, 3 August 2012

Why Reading Matters and How to Motivate Students to Read?

"Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting" 

Aldous Huxley

Reading Matters!
Reading is an important skill that needs to be developed in children, especially in the present competitive world. The more they read, the more they learn. Reading is a source of knowledge and pleasure. Regular reading enhances the development of their spoken language skills, their ability to express themselves verbally. It gives exposure to new vocabulary. It opens new worlds to them. It enriches their imagination. The magic of books is that children can learn about new places and people. They can see in their mind the past, present and the future.
It is now a familiar statement that today's children are not reading. I think the main problem for this is the lack of an atmosphere for reading. As teachers or parents we are the role models for them in the initial years. Our failure as a reader will definitely have an impact on our children.

Why are they not reading?
  • They are not aware of the benefits and we don't have time to encourage and inculcate the reading habits in them. They can't appreciate how fruitful reading is for a purposeful life and to achieve their goals.
  • They are not provided with good books. They should be exposed to quality books which they can enjoy. No need to pressurise them. 
  • For some children, it is too difficult to read. They are unable to follow the language.They need help in finding books that suits their level of understanding.
  • Today, kids are too busy: school, homework and assignments, tuition, friends and relatives, sports, television. Do they have time to read?
  • Though it is a must to have a library in every school, a number of schools are not having a library. In some cases, the library means a collection of books dumped somewhere in the store. There is no separate room for the libraries. If there is a library the school may not have a full fledged librarian.
How to Motivate?
  • The children may be motivated to read by making them aware of the benefits. The teachers and parents should be a model to them.
  • The school should have a well equipped library with a qualified librarian. Sufficient funds to be alloted to the library. The library is to be well furnished.
  • The attitude of the School Librarian counts a lot here. He should have a pleasing attitude, encouraging the students to read. 
  • The books in the school library should be selected judiciously keeping in mind the reading levels of the students. The library need to be attractive and the books should be arranged subject wise. Proper guides and instructions is to be provided.
  • Book are for use! So let your children make use of the books. Don't worry that the books will get damaged.
  • Promote open access in libraries. Free access to books may not be cause for books being lost. 
  • Let them read the books of their choice. You may suggest good books to them. But do not force them the books you like. There is no need to bother if they are reading just story books and comics. Their tastes will gradually change
  • Display of new additions and selected books on different topics (subject, author, events etc.) will definitely help in attracting the students towards reading.
  • Different activities like books reviews, book cover designing, poster designing, books clubs, book talks, library quiz, book exhibitions etc. can be organised.
  • Cooperation between the librarian and teacher is essential. Teachers tell the students stories. They should discuss the books they have read and motivate the students to read them. Plan interesting reading related activities. Encourage students to read aloud stories in the class room.
  • As a parent you have read aloud stories to your children. Listen to them while they are reading. Try to clarify their doubts. Never discourage them. During their birthdays and other special occasions try to present them with good books.

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