Teach English in ZhAdu Zhen - Loudi Shi

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Children are the future, our future, the generation that will take the world and all it encompasses to the next age of the world; whatever that may be. Children are the future. This phrase is repeated all around the world, in different countries, continents and even across the vast array of cultures that exist on planet Earth. One would be hard pressed to find any one person who would disagree with this statement. What, then, do we do about this? We educate them, we teach them all we know, share all the knowledge and information that we have accumulated in our lifetimes with the future generations; and then we hand the world over to their care. Rather, we hand over the future of the world into their care. How do we go about this? The sharing of knowledge and wisdom gained throughout history and over millennia? We document what we have learned, we write it down and we read and re-read what has been written. We know things about the world a couple of hundred years ago that we would never have learned had it not been documented; and we write in both fiction and non-fiction. So how then do we pass this knowledge to our future? The children who will inherit the Earth? We teach them to read, we try our best to teach them to love to read; to voraciously devour the information and knowledge that the written word has to offer. Lay a foundation. Some read to children whilst they are still in the womb, when the children are one or two or three years old; before the child even has the capacity to understand what is happening. Children learn by absorbing what is around them, even if they do not know what exactly is going on, they will learn to recognise the reading of a book; more importantly, the voices of their parents reading a book. This leads to a further point of establishing a set time for reading every day, perhaps at bedtime. Parents can either read to their children, have the children read aloud (depending on their age and capability) or alternate between the child and the parent reading. The child will understand this to be a bonding activity and will therefore be more inclined to have a positive outlook towards reading. Expose the children to books. A child is curious by nature, filling one’s home with books will most likely result in the children picking them up and looking through them. They may not understand fully at first, but this will ignite the flame of curiosity that the child, more likely than not, will want to fuel. Another great way to expose children to books would be to take them to libraries; walking into halls filled with shelves upon shelves of books will most certainly arouse the child’s curiosity. It certainly did for me when I was a child. Be a role model. Do you want your child to read? Pick up your own book (furthering your own knowledge as the added perk!) and allow your child to see you reading, and enjoying it. Children will often imitate their parents and this would be a great imitation to carry out. Limit the electronics. Limit the amount of time children spend on devices such as laptops and tablets; unless, of course, they are using reading applications on these machines. This will free up more of the child’s time to read more! Don’t force the child, let them choose. Pushing anything on to a child, especially repetitively, will most likely result in a negative response. If the child is reluctant to read, patience is the key. Perhaps find written work on subjects they are known to be interested in, ask the child what they want to read or learn about. Trying to force a child to read may result in the child hating the idea of the activity, thus avoiding it as a whole. All in all, there are a variety of ways in which a child can be taught to read and instil a love for reading within that child. From my understanding, patience, entertainment and exposure can work wonders. References: 1. Raise a Child Who Loves to Read accessed 8 November 2019. 2. 10 Ways to Instil a Love of Reading in Your Child accessed 8 November 2019. 3. 11 Way to Instil a Love of Reading in Your Child accessed 8 November 2019.