Strategies for Developing Reading Habit
STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING READING HABIT - For Schools Dealing with Students from Poor Homes
When you teach a child how to read, you give that child life
This reading can be viewed in different ways: ability to make meaning out of letters of the alphabet or willingness to study where the aforementioned has been achieved already. But, I will duel on the latter. A well developed reading habit helps the child to learn new things on his own, thereby increasing the child’s speed in learning.
Situations abound where a teacher is faced with the challenge of helping to develop the habit of reading in a group of students where:
- the students are from a poor financial background and cannot afford the cheapest book in the bookshop.
- the students' parents cannot assist in teaching the them reading at home as they too cannot make any sense of the letters of the alphabet or are generally poor readers themselves.
Reading is a pedagogic principle
Reading is a very essential pedagogic principle in achieving any global academic breakthrough anywhere in the world. The statements that readers are leaders and you are what you know expose a catholic panorama of readership that every well-meaning and purposeful educational quest must seek to behold. But, this is a heart-rending challenge in the world today, especially in African nations. With good reading habit, even if a student drops out of school where he/she losses the daily advantage of meeting a mentor, he/she is able to pursue his/her dream because the reading habit becomes an inbuilt tutor that the child caries everywhere. A reading student is a very challenging and adventurous learner.
What Sort of Students You Have?
Consider First the background of your students - social, religious, financial etc.
This brings you to a kind of needs and background analysis, and consideration of personal differences as influenced by environment, economy or other social facts, and recognition of problem areas. These are children from poor background where their parents or guardians may not be able to read or may not have time to spend teaching them reading. In schools where the students are from rich homes, they have access to lots of books, and their educated parents can also spend time reading with them which is a very effective way of building reading habit in a child. Your students do not have books in their homes, and probably their parents pay less attention to their educational progress.
Identifying Individual Differences towards Learning
It will be good to start from the time the child joins your school. Teachers in early classes must analyze the reading habit of the students as they come in, understand their individual differences and make a statistical analysis of their class activities. This will include temperamental analysis, IQ strength and the original accumulated reading ability of the students. In that way, you will know the responses of the students to learning from a very early stage and you can monitor them closely to see how they either drop or improve in their reading as well as their academic evolution.
Identification of Influential Students
You must also identify students in the class who are likely to influence students to go their way. Such students can influence reading in the class positively or negatively. Any failing child in this regard will always make effort not to be alone on the loosing end. He may make sure he gets partners in failure. Such student should be given attention to because if he/she succeeds in his/her learning, there will be less learning casualty in the class, and there is likely to be teaming academic competition and success among the students.
Use of the Library
Encouraging Use of the Library
You must include library period on the child’s timetable. He/she needs to understand the essence of including a period for library on the timetable. You should create more periods for library use and ensure that when it is library time, the child goes to the library, and the librarian ensures that the child reads and not sit to waste the time discussing with friends on other things that may not be of any academic advantage.
Creation of a Readers’ Club/Society in the School
I suggest that a reading club should also be created. Its aim would be to get your students reading and making reading a part of their daily life, and to establish reading as a habit that would always be needed and enjoyed – a need and leisure. This will require you getting interesting books touching a wide range of readership to be read in the club, and the members of the club may be allowed to take the books home, read them and then discuss the content with other members at the club in subsequent meetings.
Teachers Evidence of Success (Teachers’ Welfare)
Understand that you have students from poor homes. They don’t have to meet poor teachers in school, and the same teachers scold them every now and then to study to become great men and women in future. If education is a medium to greatness why are the teachers not displaying that greatness, at least in terms of simple material possession and admirable living standard? So, whether you like it or not, psychologically, this students suffer discouragement through the financial status of his teachers – you. If a teacher will tell his student if you want to be comfortable like me, then you must read. The student will read if the teacher is actually comfortable; that will be a practical evidence of success in learning. But otherwise, the students dwell in fantasy. They have positive dreams, but the ways to achieving them are illusive, and seem only imaginable. We don’t seek knowledge only to carry it about in our brains, but it should be translated to some palpable achievements. If the students consider you a failure, they will not be always ready to heed your words because you cannot promise what you cannot afford. These students need a practical role model to success which is considered the reason for reading – schooling.
Make the Students Know the Importance of Reading.
It gives them societal recognition.
It enables them to discover new things.
It enables them to answer their exam questions better for better scores.
It gives them educational success.
Believe me, teaching will be a more interesting venture, and the world of scholarship will gain easy acceptability if reading can be held up as important as students’ breakfast, lunch and dinner.