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Thursday, March 12, 2020

8 Ways To Encourage Children To Read

How do I encourage my child to pick up a book to read and continue reading? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by parents. When you give a child a book, it is a gift. When you teach a child to love reading that book, you give the child a gift for life.

Here are 8 Ways to Encourage Children To Read

1. Use Graded Readers

These are readers that progress in levels. New words and complexity of grammar structures increases as children. move from one level to another. Graded readers features a systematic ‘levelled reading’ approach with incremental vocabulary coverage, careful language recycling and increasing text complexity. Children become more confident as they recognize books found in the earlier series. The confidence that comes from being able to read independently encourages them to keep on reading and discover new words. Children should be encouraged to read books that are within their level of reading comprehension. Too low a level makes them bored while too high a level makes them frustrated and give up. Select books with tiers, levels or bands because these graded readers are written according to children's age and reading level in mind.

2. Read Stories that Children can Relate to

Children are like sponges, absorbing all information around them. They are curious beings. Stories that they can relate to will capture their attention and interest and make them want to continue reading. While there are a wide array of stories from the west, stories rich in Asian culture are also a good way to teach children about the different local cultures because it stirs their natural curiosity.

3. Design Matters - Read Books with Interesting Illustration

Books with colourful illustration and design attract young readers to pick up a book to read. They say pictures speak a thousand words. Words along with pictures tell a compelling story that makes you want to continue reading.

4. Read Different Genre Storybooks

We can broaden the horizon of the young reader and encourage them to read by introducing to them interesting stories across different genres including real-life fiction, adventure stories, traditional tales and non-fiction. Children will learn that reading can take them into a different world, time or place when they imagine the stories that they read taking place.

5. Let Your Child Choose What They Want To Read

While it may be tempting to select all your child’s reading material based on what you think is good for them, it is good to let them choose what they want to read occasionally. Perhaps they may need you to guide them along, allowing them to choose what they want to read will motivate them to pick up that book to read at home. You never know, they might find gems you didn’t plan to pick up. Set up a cozy reading book or mini home library for them to read books they had a hand in picking.

6. Read Books That Encourage Children to Think

Some books have guided questions at the end of the book or supplementary projects and activities. All of these help to facilitate value reflection and critical thinking development in readers. Parents can ask children questions or do projects together with children which encourages parent child bonding and further interest in the books read.

7. Read Stories with Themes

Popular thematic stories about festivals, families, food, animals, transportation etc educate as well as inform. For example, kids may be interested to read about the New Year as the New Year approaches making it something to look forward to and talk about.

8. Read Together and Read Often

Read to your child, or together with your child to encourage them to read. Bring them to bookshops, libraries and book exhibitions to open up the world of books and reading to them. Read often and discuss what you read with your child. Don't look at your mobile while your child is reading. Pick up something and read as they are reading. This will encourage them to read instead of playing with their phones too.

This post was brought to you by Oxford Fajar Malaysia.

Introducing Oxford Fajar Dragonfly Readers

Dragonfly Readers is a new print series by Oxford Fajar. It is designed for the 21st century reader to support the development of reading comprehension skills, featuring: 
  • 204 beautifully-illustrated stores and non-fiction texts by Asian authors and artists
  • Asian culture, themes and values infused in the series 
  • Culture and vocabulary pages, supplementary projects and activities 
  • Clear learner progression, based on Oxford Levels and aligned to CEFR 
The Dragonfly Readers is based on a levelling* system with 
  • 9 tiered-levelling, each level denoted by a number and colour 
  • 6 bands per level; each band offers 3-4 theme-linked reading texts within a printed anthology
  • Each reading text introduces a set of topic-related new words with practice and support materials 
  • A transparent vocabulary structure, with each reading text presenting new topic-related words and carefully recycling previously learnt new words 
  • Text complexity gradually increases through the bands, so learners incrementally gain comprehension skills and reading fluency as they advance through the levels 

The Dragonfly Readers is available for purchase online here.

*Dragonfly readers is currently available up to Level 3. Stay tuned for the higher levels coming soon.

Oxford Big Read 

The Oxford Big Read is an English reading programme and competition for primary school students in Malaysia. Students who participate in the competition will be required to read Oxford Readers and do different age-wise activities based on their levels.

The competition is open to all schools in Malaysia, and features attractive prizes for students and their schools.

Click here to find out more.

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