Teach English in ChahA'eryouyihouqidAnglanghudong Sumu - Wulanchabu Shi — Ulanqab

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In today’s society when everyone is preoccupied with busy work schedules, responsibilities, and reliance to technology we rarely have time or worse no time at all to pick up a book and read it. As adults, parents and teachers alike, we have a responsibility to our children and learners to instill a love for book and reading in them. But how can we do this if we cannot find time to pick up a book and read it, and everything around us seems to discourage rather than encourage us to take that first step into getting into the habit of reading. Maya Angelou once said, “any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his needs, is good for him.” What is a book? According to the dictionary, a book is a handwritten or printed work of fiction or non-fiction usually sheets of paper fastened or bound together within covers. What is reading? According to the same dictionary, to read is to look at --- carefully so as to understand the meaning of ---; or to have such knowledge of --- as to be able to understand things written on it. What is a child? The same dictionary says, a child is a person between birth and full growth. So why did I mention these terms which seem to be self-explanatory? I included this part because majority of my composition will be revolving around these terms. And besides, the topic of this composition is about children, books, and reading. Reading, they say is important. Some of us learned how to read at home. Most of us learned it in school. Few of us did not even learn it all. Margaret Fuller once said “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Probably that is why we try to get into the habit of reading and we even try to instill the same to others, because we all want to be leaders. But the truth is not all readers are leaders. But all leaders are readers. So why still get into the habit of reading anyway? I say we still try because we want to learn and we never want to stop learning. We still try because we want our future generations to be better than what we are. Like Dr. Seuss once wrote “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” I never remember a time when my parents read to me. But I do remember the time when I finally learned how to read. My father gifted me a book with these words written in the card “Read and go on an adventure. Come back to me and tell me all about it.” I read and finished the book, went back to my father and told him all about it. Few months later, he gave me another book and told me “This time continue on reading until there are no more words and books to be read.” And let’s just say, here I am writing an essay about the importance of reading and how to instill the same to our children. I did not stop reading even when I did not have time for it. A book, a newspaper, a magazine, a digest, name it I read them all. I am grateful that my father got me into the habit of reading because I learned so much through reading. I questioned numerous beliefs and theories along the way. I went to places where I have never been. I met people who had been long gone. Learned new languages along the way. Books for me were and still are my escape and therapy. Now that I am both a parent and a teacher, I plan to pass it on to my child and learners the habit of picking up any book they can find and read it. Hopefully, they, too, can find knowledge, love, joy, peace, adventure, and satisfaction from books and reading like I did. As a parent, I started reading books to my child the moment he was born. The first book I picked up and read was The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde and started with The Happy Prince. Then I continued on with other books. I read the books to him in the morning after his first feeding and before bedtime at night. I started early and I tried to be consistent with the routine I set for reading. Now that my child is in Reception Class, together we read books and tell stories to each other every single day. He does not go to sleep without reading a book. As my child is bilingual and knows a little bit of Spanish and Filipino, the variety of books available to him is unimaginable. I have seen the fruits of this good habit. His language and fluency has improved and his vocabulary has expanded. Not to mention his personality and his vast imagination is as colorful and fantastic like Dr. Seuss’ and quirky and cheeky like Roald Dahl’s rolled into one. I plan to continue this habit of reading with my child and hopefully one day this habit will turn into love for reading. As a teacher, I have one lesson dedicated just for reading with my learners. They might not understand a word that comes out from my mouth but I try to be animated as much as possible so they can get the hints from my actions and voice what the book is all about. I make it a habit to read the book to them during study phase of our lessons. In here at least I can elicit vocabulary from them and let them try to use it in their own words. I try to be consistent with this routine so they can get the habit of listening to someone who is reading. Hopefully one day this habit will turn into love for reading. What I am saying is that I think the key to getting children into the habit of picking up and reading a book and turning it into a love for reading is timing and consistency. The ealier you start reading books to children, the better. You must be consistent with the routine you set for reading. And the most important of all, the child must see you holding and reading a book. Children do what they see and not what they hear. If we keep telling our children to read books because it is important but never see us do the same, it is like waiting for the rain in the drought. AYLA ÇETİN ISTANBUL/TURKEY 22 JANUARY 2020