Letting your learners take ownership of their own reading is a great way to encourage them to read. Not only will it boost their confidence but it will also make them more independent and engaged in their progress. Reading Hub supports this process by giving every learner access to thousands of the best children’s books and recommendations as unique as they are!
No child is born with a hatred of reading. Reluctant readers develop a negative attitude towards books because they lack confidence or haven’t been exposed to great books. The lack of motivation to read amongst learners can be credited to the rise in technologies and social media. But by making a conscious effort to change this, we can help those with difficulty reading become more curious, critical thinkers who can engage with the world around them.
It is encouraging to see the latest data from the National Literacy Trust shows continuous improvement in pre-pandemic levels with just over half of children and young people (aged 8-18) saying they enjoyed reading either very much (21.6%) or quite a lot (29.9%).
How do we encourage reluctant readers?
There are plenty of ways we can get learners excited about reading again; it all starts with making sure they see the value in it. With technology becoming more commonplace in our lives, we must include online resources as part of our reading culture too!
Embedding a reading culture throughout your school takes time, effort, and hard work. But the benefits to both individuals and society are innumerable. By making time for reading, we’re not only promoting literacy but also creating opportunities for people of all ages to come together and explore new ideas.
Getting started on any new habit is easy but maintaining it is the hard part! Keep learners motivated by making sure they know what the purpose of reading is. Show them that it’ll be worth their while! As well as this, try to vary the reading materials you provide so that there’s something for everyone. This could be anything from comics to magazines, newspapers to novels-whatever it takes to keep your learners hooked!
How can you encourage your learners to promote a culture of reading?
Start by sharing some books that you think they might like or asking them what they’d be interested in reading before school starts. Share a book with each learner so they have access to their copy at home or library; provide resources for parents so they can purchase their own copies too! If possible, set up an accessible space where people can sit comfortably without feeling pressured into being part of any group activity (this includes making sure there are no distractions). Lastly, encourage teachers to use different strategies that make it easier on children who struggle with traditional texts. This will help them feel more confident when trying something new: they must see mistakes as part of the process.
When we create a reading culture in our schools, the impact of this will be felt by every single individual. Learners, parents, staff, and the community will be able to see the powerful impact of this reading culture. It’s therefore integral that you support your reluctant readers with the best reading materials.
Learners will begin to feel confident about what they’re reading because it has meaning for them personally. It’s integral to encourage children from diverse backgrounds (or those who find traditional texts difficult) to share their experiences too!
What if they don’t want to read?
When this happens it’s important not to give up but instead spend time working out why they’re finding reading difficult. Maybe there’s something specific that needs extra attention such as vocabulary size or comprehension skills.
Sometimes it can be as simple as just finding the right book for the right person. There’s no shame in reading below or above your level; everyone progresses at different speeds and that’s okay!
Parents can also play a huge role in encouraging their children to read by setting aside time each day for reading together, providing access to a variety of reading materials, and attending events at the library or school.
Above all, make sure you show your learners how much fun reading can be. It’s a great way to wind down after a long day or just take a break from work. Who knows, they might even find their new favourite hobby in the process!