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According to a research from the National literacy Trust, pupil’s interest in reading weans when they arrive at secondary school. This is mostly attributed to adolescence and technological advancements that sometimes discourage the reading culture.
However as much as we may want to point a finger and blame other things for the deterioration of the reading culture, we must also ensure that schools, parents and the society at large is providing students with every opportunity to read. This is because fostering the love of reading is pertinent to ensuring that students can cope with the demands of the new school curriculum.
It is a constant challenge to keep coming out with fresh ideas that could encourage students to adopt a beneficial reading culture, but experts believe that investing the time on promoting the reading culture would provide great all round benefits to students all around the globe.
Creating a reading culture in a school is essential if we want to encourage our students to become engaged and motivated readers. It takes time and requires total commitment of the school administration, the teachers and the students as well. Collaboration between the teachers, parents and students helps stimulate and reinforce a reading culture within the school and the wider community at large.
The following hints and tips are some of the most successful techniques that can help promote the reading culture in our schools.
Teachers can start each school day with a compulsory 15-minute reading session. This can help send clear signals to the students about the importance of reading and can help ensure that they get to have their reading done on time no matter how busy their daily schedule would be. It is a nice way to engage the students before their classes begin, their minds are still fresh and their memory retention is high. This can be done in group sessions in an interactive session where the school staff can take part in.
Utilize new technologies
Technological advancements have made it possible for students to learn and believe that good reading practices do not just involve hard copy books. Online platforms and apps such as kytabu have been found to be helpful for struggling readers who prefer to read on their own because it is less obvious to their peers that they are reading different lower ability books. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the student may be reading be it magazines , eBooks or websites but as long as they are reading. That’s the main objective.
The transition from year 6 to 7 is crucial for reading. It is important to make sure that that the literacy level is not affected. Incorporating the VCOP (vocabulary, connectives, open sentences and punctuation) learning strategy is the best way to go. This kind of consistency is important because it helps to support students through that crucial time in their development. The VCOP strategy allows children to take a regular, termly reading test. It is a short session but it gives a baseline assessment of the students reading ability and it makes sure that they are reading books at the optimum level.
Spruce up the school library
Learn to treat the students as adults. This is important because creating the right kind of environment for them provides a child-appropriate environment to read and study and encourage children to visit the library again. You can start by changing the physical out look of the library by painting the walls a soft seating which may encourage the students to come back. Keep the book racks up to date with a broad range of topics that the students can enjoy. It can actually encourage even the least interested of students to have a read.
Make reading fun
Making reading a fun adventure can be done in so many ways. You could for example encourage the students to create their own clandestine culture club where they regularly meet at secret venues to discuss specific books that the members have read. Another fun way is asking the students to make a recreation of what they have read in books in theater. They can act out some of the best scenes from a book, complete with costumes and make up from a books setting.