When was the last time you read a book or magazine article?
I asked that question of my Adult Basic English Education class recently. The question was met with too many seconds of silence. My students, though desperately interested in mastering the English language, had not been reading! Now, most of the students aren't particularly wealthy, and a couple mentioned that they haven't found anything interesting or relevant to read..
"Read the newspaper," I said threateningly. I noticed a few of the ladies get a little wide-eyed. After a couple of deep breaths, my thoughts settled and I went into problem-solving mode. Maintaining my usual calm and slightly quiet voice, I went on to ask whether any of them had ever owned a possessed a library card. That question too, was met with silence. How can my students expect to speak and write English well if they don't read? Did I mention that reading is a great escape from the stresses of life?
I hear a lot of parents complaining about their kids watching too much TV or playing too many video games. Well, what are they supposed to do instead? Read, of course. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, if you haven't gotten your kids a library card or never owned one yourself, you may not be leading by example. Actually, if you don't own a card for yourself, you're doing yourself an injustice too.
Consider these quotes:
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
– Dr Seuss
Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.
– Author Unknown