No one understands the importance of strong reading skills more than teachers.
Reading is the very foundation of our ability to learn and is an essential part of so many aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, many children struggle with reading and prefer other activities such as video games or sports. Studies demonstrate that reading expands a child’s vocabulary, enhances their imagination and can be a major factor in future academic or career success.
In a report published by the National Literacy Trust, it was announced that: “Research has repeatedly shown that motivation to read decreases with age, especially if pupils’ attitudes towards reading become less positive.” – “If children do not enjoy reading when they are young, then they are unlikely to do so when they get older.” That’s why educators seek out teaching strategies on how to instil a love of reading into their students.
Here we examine three classroom strategies which will teach your students to love reading:
1. Spend time teaching reading strategies.
One of the main reasons that children hate to read is simply that they don’t read well! Poor reading skills are a source of embarrassment, and prevent a child from fully engaging in the reading material. A child will naturally shy away from any activity which provokes feelings of frustration and boredom but helping improve a student’s reading skills will foster confidence and a desire to read more.
Some effective strategies include:
- Repeated reading which is designed to increase reading confidence by having students reading the same passage over and over until there are no errors. While the process sounds repetitive and dull, it can be turned into a fun activity. It can be done in a group setting, one-on-one with a student, or by pairing students together. It can be kept interesting by incorporating word walls, bingo, flashcards, and speed drills into the process.
- Analytic phonics has been around for over 100 years, and it really works. By teaching children that there are relationships between words, they will begin analysing the relationship between letters and sounds. They will then begin to decode words based upon letter and spelling.
- Multisensory instruction involves using multiple senses to engage in different areas of the brain. Studies have discovered that multisensory activities can help teach more complex reading skills faster and with a higher rate of retention.
Using different methods in an individualised approach will increase the probability that you’ll find the right tactic.
2. Introducing your students to a book series.
Everyone remembers the furore over the Harry Potter book series. It continues to be extremely popular today, over 15 years after the first book in the series was published.
There are engaging book series in a variety of genres, from adventure to fantasy, and science fiction to horror like Goosebumps. There is no shortage of books to consider, and there is bound to be at least one which will appeal to the majority of your students.
The appeal is simple: once your students fall in love with series, they will continue reading to find out what happens next and it can lead to years of reading.
3. Organise a book club.
Reading is considered a solitary pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Book clubs and reading groups are a fun way for students to socialise. It encourages them to share their thoughts, entertain different opinions and perspectives, and learn about each other.
This type of interactive approach will also improve their reading comprehension and retention of the material. They can read aloud to strengthen their reading skills, prepare written or oral projects on the books, and even perform short skits to make the book come alive.
Reading is a vital skill used in our daily lives and is essential for us to function effectively. Instilling a love of reading in a child will help them successfully navigate their way through school, higher education, and jobs. That is why encouraging children to read is an important part of an educator’s job. By finding creative solutions such as the three we discussed, will make your task much easier and more rewarding.
If you are interested in broadening your experiences and teaching abroad, Point to Point Education will help you obtain a teaching position in the UK. We work with teachers to help them find teaching positions that fit their skills and interests. Contact us today for more information.