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Readers Are Leaders: How to Instill the Love for Reading in Children

Readers Are Leaders: How to Instill the Love for Reading in Children | ITTT | TEFL Blog

As Margaret Fuller once said, “Today a reader; tomorrow a leader”. Reading is a habit that has a great number of benefits. It allows an individual to gain knowledge, expand their vocabulary, improve their writing skills and reduce their mental stress among many other things. Thus, we must instill a love for reading in children from a very young age. Three main ways to do this would be to find out what their interests are and help them find books that are about their interests, to show the children how passionate you are about reading and to motivate them to read as much as possible by rewarding them for it.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Fathima S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Basis of Frustration

Children usually tend to have very specific subjects that they find interesting and get bored and restless very quickly, so it would be very helpful, to begin with figuring out what their interests are. For example, a student that I once tutored used to love cars and racing. And once I figured this out, I picked out books that had information on different car types and storybooks like Lightning McQueen with lots of colors and pictures to get him interested in reading. Once the child gets into the habit of holding a book, sitting somewhere quietly and reading, encouraging them to expand the subject of their reading material will no longer be as challenging as before. So in the same way, if all teachers make an effort to help students find books that they might be interested in, they would probably pick up and love the habit of reading.

Also Read: When a Teacher Becomes a Student: Reflecting On Your Teaching Practice

Personal Interest

Another way that we teachers can instill a love for reading in children is by showing our students how passionate we are about it. As we all know, it’s always important to lead by example and when it is about leading children, this phrase becomes all the more important as children usually tend to follow habits that they see adults doing. Some ways that teachers could show students this is by talking frequently about books they enjoyed reading and discussing the stories with their students, taking the students on library visits and showing them how to look for books that might interest them and also reading in their leisure time at school so that students would be more likely to start reading themselves. These are only a few ways among many others that teachers could use to show students how passionate they are about reading. Once students feel like their teacher is also interested in reading, there will be a higher chance of them picking up the habit as well.

Also Read: What questions should I ask a TEFL employer?

Support and Encouragement

And finally, the best way to get students motivated to read as much as possible would be to offer them a reward that would encourage them. For example, a teacher could ask his or her students to read a book of their choice over the weekend and mention that all students who do this and share a summary of the story or the basic idea behind it in class would receive some extra points on their final grade or candy or anything that might motivate the students to actually read a book. This would be similar to the carrot and stick approach but the only difference here is that students will only be rewarded for reading but will not face any negative consequences if they do not read. This ensures that the children will not feel forced into the habit and will take their own time to adjust and take up the habit and will eventually start liking it.

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Reading is an extremely good habit for anyone to pick up, regardless of whether they are an adult or a child. However, the earlier we can instill this love for reading in children, the better it becomes as they will be able to gain more knowledge over time. The methods stated above were only a few of many that a teacher can use to instill a love for reading in their students. The more creative a teacher gets in encouraging her students to read, the more successful they are likely to be in getting their students in the habit of reading often.

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