Instilling a love of reading

by Nicole Gundi | Jun 23, 2017

These days it’s not hard to imagine children as young as two years old ‘swiping’ on mobile phones and tucking their iPad minis under their arms as they drink their bottle of milk. 

No doubt, in this day and age, technology will continue to have a great impact on how they learn and absorb information, however we shouldn’t completely rule out the bread and butter of education – reading, writing and arithmetic. 

There is a wealth of research on how reading to children from when they are young assists their cognitive development and further learning. 

The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) defines literacy as ‘the capacity, confidence and disposition to use language in all its forms. Literacy incorporates a range of modes of communication including music, movement, dance, storytelling, visual arts, media and drama, as well as talking, listening, viewing, reading and writing’ .

The EYLF explains that literacy develops from birth as humans strive to express feelings, exchange thoughts and connect with others through gestures, sounds and language. 

ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) recipient Lyn Cleaver remembers her first memories of learning how to read.

Lyn Cleaver

 

 

"I remember being feeling anxious to read in front of the class, so I would skip ahead to read my part before it was my turn so as to not make any reading errors.  I couldn’t say that I was reading for meaning and enjoying the reading experience, as I was so caught up in wanting to get it right!" 

It was only when Lyn was ‘much older’ that she started to enjoy reading. 

"My passion for reading really grew when I had my own young family and could share the many wonderful reading experiences with them."

Lyn now shares her passion and the joy of reading with younger children as a kindergarten teacher, getting them to understand ’why’ they are reading instead of ‘what’. 

She says young children need to develop the skill of becoming thoughtful and reflective readers who are exposed to quality literature. 

"We want our students to become proficient in reading, rather than solely functional readers. Students who read with understanding are then able to respond to what they read, interpret information and form their own opinions.’  

The ASG NEiTA recipient of an innovation award says, ‘deep thinkers are observant and insightful learners, and a way to achieve this is to develop independence and confidence. Offering student choice in books, materials, and activities engages students and promotes ownership of their learning. Delivering a program that provides high quality, rich literature, with processes in place to assist the students to respond orally, through play and writing, is one way that I promote deep thinkers, through reading, in my classroom,” said Ms Cleaver. 

Want to know more about how you can help your children develop a love for reading? We’ve asked Ms Cleaver a series of questions including why children need to know ‘why’ they’re reading instead of ‘what’? She’ll answer them for us in the following blog, next week. 

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