Today I tried hard to inspire my students to read books and stories in English. This task sounds so easy on paper but in reality it is plagued with difficulty. What cannot be argued with is that students who improve their reading ability, will also improve many facets of overall English, including writing and speaking.
The obstacles that need to be overcome are not just English ability, comprehension and vocabulary. While most of us would think that reading is natural and common, depending on the country, this may not be so.
On a side note, one of my students told me about the huge library in his city that housed only about one hundred books, most of which had been scavenged of their pages to make “cigarette” rolling papers.
I had always assumed that reading was popular all over the world. It wasn’t until my students remarked on how often the see Torontonians reading on the subway that I started to reconsider this opinion. Maybe reading is not as popular as I believe.
Other things my students have told me is that there book vending machines on subway platforms in their country. What an awesome idea. This tells me that either reading is popular or there was some minor legal changes that required the placement of these machines.
I decided to quiz my students about visiting the libraries in the city. Not surprisingly, they all said that they wanted to (maybe they were trying to get on my good side) but hadn’t actually accomplished that goal yet. I then taught them the word procrastination. It was a surprisingly popular word.
Today’s reading and discussion went quite well and hopefully their confidence has improved and they will start picking some books to read.