Six Ways to Cultivate a Love of Reading in Students

3 min

Reading is one of the most important skills you will ever learn. Throughout your life, the skill will be used every day to forward to your knowledge and is a vital part of society. In addition to the social aspects of reading, reading as a hobby is also greatly beneficial to an individual’s well-being and mental capabilities. You can explore new worlds, new ideas, new opinions and new inspiration that, in some cases, can change your life. But as a teacher, how can you nurture and encourage your students to get involved and start reading on their terms? In this article, we’ll explain how.

Share Your Experiences

The statistic shows that 33% of people never read a book after high school. The teachers’ mission is to cultivate the love of reading in students so they can develop stronger reading skills during their lives. One of the best ways to encourage reading in your students is to connect with them and pass on your own experiences. No matter what age range you’re teaching, if you’re reading a good book currently or have read a good book in the past that has stirred deep emotions within you, share this experience with your students. First-hand experience is the best way to encourage someone to do anything as you’re sharing your passion on something you love.

Reading Can Be Social

Despite reading itself being quite an individual pastime, there are many ways you can implement a social aspect to it. Setting up book clubs in your class or school is the ideal way to bring people together to discuss a book that everybody is reading or to hear your student’s opinions on the book they are currently reading. “If you get everybody reading the same book or similar books, this can open up so many areas of discussion, perfect for boosting that love for reading. School clubs make students involved and interested in attending reading sessions to share their thoughts and impressions”, – says Amanda Clark, a tutor at 1Day2write and Britstudent.

Change the Perception About Reading

Also, there are some useful methods from teachers who share their experience how to cultivate love of reading in students. For example, the method of 100 words when students have to read and write the work of each other.

Suzy Dodd, an English teacher at the Co-operative Academy of Leeds states, “Reading challenges give a sense of purpose and the crucial part of reading for pleasure is to escape the challenges of school and relax.” So the problem is that most of the students see reading as another homework or school task and the goal is to change their perception about reading.  

Reading Doesn’t Have to be Reading

It’s understandable; reading isn’t for everyone. Some people are very physically active and may not be able to sit still for a long enough time to read a book, especially younger children. The best way to counteract this is to invest in audio books. You could dedicate a certain period of the day to listen to a segment of these books, and it’s a great way to introduce your students to reading, especially if they have never really read one outside of the classroom.

Make Connections

The best part of books is how relatable they are. Inside your favourite story will be concepts and ideas that can relate to yourself, society or the world around you and it’s important that your students can find and explore these ideas to find that relevance. By putting time aside with students to explore these ideas, you can encourage reading alongside an in-depth understanding of why books are great. 

Matthew Harper, an educator at Australia1write and Academic brits, explains, “Books have been present for hundreds of years throughout every form of society. I’m referring to politically charged books that have been banned in countries because of the ideologies that they convey. By leading students towards their own political, social and historical conclusion in books, you are greatly encouraging their appreciation for reading”.

Writing Essays

In conjunction to the point above, encouraging students to write essays on the books they are reading can furthermore add to their appreciation of the scriptures that they are reading. Sitting down and writing a piece of text that answers a question or provokes thought in your students about a subject in their book can greatly enhance their understanding of the text, develop critical thinking and will show them the deeper meanings that many books hold.

Sam Jackson, a teacher and the member of the writing and reading community at Writemyx and Origin Writings, exclaims, “Essay writing can be difficult to encourage in students at the best of times. However, it’s a key method for increasing their understanding of the text. If your students are writing about a story or novel that they love already and it’s their own choice to read, getting them to write an essay about certain concepts won’t be too difficult as they are simply explaining something they already love. For example, if your students are reading various books, you could set a question such as ‘How does the author convey love in your book’ or “How is ‘evil’ represented in your book”. These are open-ended questions which give your students to explore the concepts that they want to write about”.

Reading doesn’t have to be a chore. With the right amount of guidance and encouragement, your students will begin to fall in love with the pastime and develop their knowledge of the existing world through new concepts and ideas that can change and inspire their perspectives. Using the methods above, you could even inspire a hobby that will last a lifetime. 

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