Reading Is FUN!
I really enjoy reading. In fact every night before I go to bed I will read a few pages (more if I don’t fall asleep) of a novel I am currently reading. I also look forward to holidays, especially the long summer break where you can lie on the beach with a good book. Usually by then I have a long list of books I want to read but haven’t had time to read. So you could say reading is a hobby for me.
However, I sometimes feel that students don’t value reading. Reading is a most important skill. I consider it to be the most important aspect in any language you are learning even your first or native language.
You are probably thinking its okay for you, you enjoy reading. Funnily enough I don’t remember as a child particularly loving reading. I do recall my Mum buying us books, taking us to the library to borrow books and always encouraging us to read and try a range of genres.
With reading you need to keep searching for books you like and when you have started to enjoy particular books you can then develop your passion for reading further, until you too want to read every opportunity you get. There is something very satisfying about being totally engrossed in a story, sometimes you hope the story will never end.
I must admit these feelings aren’t the same when I am researching and reading material for work, but reading for pleasure and enjoyment is a great way to help you speaking too, especially if you meet someone who has enjoyed the same book as you. It’s a great “ice breaker”.
Basically if you can’t read it is very isolating and difficult to learn new things. If you consider the four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, reading plays an important role in all these areas. Firstly you need to be able to read instructions and the question particularly in a test. If your reading level is poor you will struggle and have difficulty learning.
It is also important to try to read a wide variety of material especially when you are studying. Although I love to read novels, you should also read newspaper, articles in magazines, non-fiction books and even children’s books. Anything you like.
Try to vary the things you read, don’t always read the same material or genre.
When you read for pleasure it is a good idea to start with something easy. This will help to improve your fluency. If you are stopping to look up every other word in your dictionary it means this book is too difficult for you. When you are studying its okay to use your dictionary but when reading for pleasure and enjoyment your fluency is more important.
Even though you may, like me, do a lot of reading for your work, study or research, you should try to make some time each day for reading for pleasure and enjoyment. You may be amazed where it leads you!