Many parents wonder why their kids can read so fluently and meaningfully  in a country in which foreign languages have been taught mainly from textbooks over the last few decades.

And not only that, they’re also perplexed by the kids’ motivation towards reading in English. Hardly can parents understand why their children devour books in a foreign language and why they don’t show the same interest in their mother tongue. Is it the language per se? Is it globalisation? Grammar complexity? Perhaps illustrations?

The only reason people enjoy reading is because they find it useful or entertaining. It’s totally unacceptable that in this digital era children have the same books and the same contents at the same time as the only reading programme in many schools whereas everybody else reads what they like at anytime and anywhere.

My students have access to a range of books that caters for all needs, that is, likes, fluency, different type of texts, … They have become autonomous enough to select the books that best fit those needs.

It’s worth noting that I’ve created a nice and cosy reading atmosphere in which children can feel literally at home when it comes to reading. They are allowed to read with friends or sit at a table or even lie on a mat. Enjoying reading is what really matters. That experience of freedom and independence, away from traditional classrooms, makes a big difference for them. They take books home once a week and to my amazement,they have been writing a short review of those books in their own words over the past two years with a clear objective:  sharing opinions about the books with others.

If we want our children to read they need to have all these elements available both at home and school at all times.

SHOULD we  underestimate the power of reading, even in a foreign language?


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