Teach English in Guanba Zhen - Bazhong Shi

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Readers are leaders: how to instil a love for reading in children? As a parent of first language speaking children my first passion was to instil in them a love to read independently and also to be read to. Reading and reciting poems and rhymes began when they very young. Through this time their vocabulary, sound knowledge and knowledge of language structure were developed. Without these important ingredients reading can be difficult for children therefore hindering a love for reading. A love for reading in children needs to start before they even enter a classroom or day care, it starts at home with parents or older siblings reading to them, where reading it a routine and fun thing to do together. The early years classrooms where reading is fun and interactive with engaging reading lessons being presented by the teacher , will help to promote a love for learning and reading. These lessons need to have a component of just reading a story for enjoyment and comprehension questions given so the children understand the text and can learn new concepts and vocabulary. Shared Reading is a tool used to develop reading strategies and skills along with talking about the pictures which develops vocabulary and oral language skills. This method is especially good for ESL children, while the children also enjoy the story. In Brunei it is not part of the culture to read to their children so the teachers often find it uncomfortable to just read a story to the class, so children mostly do not willingly read. They are trying to promote a reading culture here so that the children love reading and then in turn their lexile reading score will also go up. Since reading is not a high priority many of the children do not have a very wide vocabulary and do not understand the structure of English. More books are being provided to schools and teachers have begun to let the children just read books for fun and to use big books as part of their lessons. Lots of good listening and speaking which then leads onto reading skills being developed. Finding books that are culturally appropriate is difficult and often the children in Brunei do not have prior knowledge for many of the topics especially if books come out of the States. Having books that are interesting and about topics that the children are interested in helps to get the children engaged in reading. Some boys at times can be more resistant readers often liking books that are more non- fiction linked to their interests, by catering for these interests can encourage a love for reading. Providing support through guided reading in small groups where the children have the opportunity to learn the strategies and skills linked to becoming a confident reader is vital in the process of growing a love for reading. Children who do not get support or time to grow in their reading without feeling they are failing, can be turned off reading and not grow to love reading. So as parents and teachers work as a team to grow their children into lovers of reading, we will see this develop. Home and school link is vital as each helps to build a good foundation in reading for children. Reading and comprehension are vital skills for life, although many children now have access to the watch you tube clips that can be very educational and also develops their knowledge. Using this knowledge they have gained to also develop their reading hopefully will help those who find reading difficult.