I strongly believe that there is no greater language teacher than the written word. It is how I learned the language as a child and it is how I think the language should be taught.
Apart from that, we must also bear in mind that modern educational assessment is largely founded on the basis of reading and writing. Students who cannot read a test and “write” (answer) accordingly is destined to fail it.
Therefore, whenever and wherever I can, I try to incorporate as much reading as possible into my lessons. It didn’t matter if it was an extended piece of text or just a short passage. Recently however, I’ve decided to bring my vision one step further!
As the Library Coordinator, one of the things that I have unlimited access to is…. books. Or in this case, stacks upon stacks of old graded readers that has long since gone pass their best-by dates. And so I thought, what better way to bring in a bit of extra reading into my daily lessons with the kids?
So I chose a suitable book, grabbed enough copies for the whole class, hauled them along with me during one of my lessons and we all sat down to read! The plan is to read for half an hour each week. (We must not let the syllabus go to waste, after all.) No teaching, no essays to be written, no sentences to be corrected, just good ol’ reading!
Students are allowed to read at their own pace. Once they finish off the first book, they can move on to the second. (Like I said, stacks and stacks of them.) There is no time limit for them to finish a certain book. Also, there are no questions to be answered or notes to be jot down. This is a reading activity, plain and simple.
At the moment, they seemed to be quite happy with the project. (Then again, they ARE some of the best students in the school.) Hopefully, they will be able to finish at least 2 to 3 books before the year is out. As with all language teaching/learning efforts, I am not expecting quick results. However, I believe that with consistency, it will make a difference in the long run.
Any thoughts on this? (: