Improving English: Tip No 1

When I’m asked how children can improve their English, the answer is quite simple and yet, in these modern times, also quite difficult!

Simple because my response is…READ.

Difficult because nowadays there are so many distractions in a child’s already busy life: after-school activities, computer games and if they’re older, the lure of social media.  Added to this, many children are reluctant to read, viewing it not as a pleasure, but as a punishment.  They haven’t discovered the joy of absorbing yourself in a good book.  A gripping story can take you into an unfamiliar world, allowing you to experience pain, pleasure, adventures, events and happenings, all from the safety of your own home. It can open up your mind to ideas, provide you with knowledge, encourage you to predict outcomes, and allow you to consider how you would react in similar situations.

As if that weren’t enough, through reading you can absorb the workings of English grammar and language, broaden your vocabulary, and have your mind stimulated with a wealth of ideas.  You can see how writers use the language and techniques you have studied in school to have an effect on you, the reader.  You can then emulate them in your own writing.

Therefore, I would strongly suggest that children are encouraged to read (even if just for 10-15 minutes a day).  Explore a range of stories by a variety of authors and find something that appeals to them.  Reading shouldn’t be a chore but a form of entertainment, an enriching and rewarding experience, which will remain with them throughout their lives.

How have you encouraged yourself or others to read?


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