Most teachers are bent on getting their students to read more. Reading is one of the most basic skills that students need to be successful at school and in their careers. Furthermore, reading provides immense benefits for the young and old alike such as increased cognitive function and overall better brain health, makes us empathetic and feel connected to the world around us, builds better vocabulary and understanding, reduces stress and anxiety, and even improves the quality of our sleep. However, it can be an uphill task to get your young students hooked on to reading books, especially in this era of social media and instant gratifications. Having said that, here are a few steps which a teacher can take in order to develop a strong and healthy reading habit in his students.
Ascertain the Reason for the Student’s Disinterest in Reading-
Not every student will find reading enjoyable by itself. Maybe he feels like reading is a burden or he might find reading difficult. It is also possible that he finds it boring or he just hasn’t found the right material to read yet. With increased access to technology and the rise of online teaching we have witnessed, many students might also prefer reading on the screen rather than through books. It is integral to ascertain the reason why your student is averse to the idea of reading before any effective intervention can be made on your part.
Create a Dedicated Reading Area-
This is an effective strategy to get younger students to be interested in reading. Teachers can create a reading area, wherein they can put a variety of interesting books, maybe a cozy chair and other amusing accessories. This will allow students to have a more peaceful, interesting and positive reading experience and will naturally get them hooked onto reading more.
Motivate them to Read at Home
You must teach your students to make reading more a habit. Tell them that it doesn’t even have to be books. They could practice reading whatever is in front of them, such as road signs, movie subtitles, instructions in games, reading sports commentary on websites and likewise. As more and more institutions and private teaches decide to teach online, amidst the pandemic it is all the more important that students are encouraged to read more at home.
Lead by Example
You should yourself practice reading in front of your students if possible or alternatively, you could tell them about your good reading experiences and interesting facts which you learned while doing so. Most students look up to their teachers and setting an example in front of them could do the trick in persuading them to read more.
Ask your Students about Things they Read-
After students have finished reading any book, ask them about their views and understanding of the same. Whether they enjoyed reading the book enough and would be interested in finding more books to read in similar genre. Simply talking about what they read can do wonders for their comprehension skills and it also helps them in getting more engaged with the reading material.
Introduce your Students to Various Genres-
For many students, they simply fail to find the right book genre which may be of interest to them. Therefore, apart from encouraging your students to read extensively, you must also motivate them to read different types of books. You can share the names of some good books of each genre with them and give them a choice to pick from among them for their next read.
Encourage them to Pick a time-
As a teacher, you must persuade your students to devote a particular time of day solely for reading. It could be as little as 20-30 minutes. Locking time for the purpose of reading ensures its regularity. Furthermore, setting aside a quiet time like night naturally leads to better comprehension of the reading material.
It is evident that reading skills are critical for achieving success for every individual and teachers and parents must take effective steps to ensure that strong reading habits are inculcated in the students from a young age. The aforementioned steps will certainly guide teachers and guardians in getting students to read more.