3B Reading to Learn
3.6 Effective Measures to Foster “Reading to Learn”
Teachers and parents should make a joint effort and adopt the following measures to foster Reading to Learn:
3.6.1 Allocating Time for Reading
To help students develop reading interests and a regular reading habit, schools should:
ensure reading is included in the learning and teaching time allocated for the Chinese Language and English Language lessons. lass and extra-curricular reading can be integrated by organising book clubs during Chinese Language lessons for students to share their reading experiences. As for English Language, up to 40% of the total lesson time can be devoted to Reading Workshops;
encourage teachers to carry on promoting “Reading to Learn” and “Reading across the Curriculum” in order to expand students’ reading horizons and enhance their in-depth understanding of the texts;
design flexible and structured time-slots for reading in school time-tables (e.g. arranging reading sessions in the morning, during lunch, after school, during double periods and post-examination periods);
extend the reading time at school (e.g. arranging reading-related activities in the afternoon sessions); and
arrange a flexible library schedule based on school needs and the actual situation of the library, so that teachers can take students to the library during lesson time or co-teach with the Teacher-librarian, or students can make use of the relevant resources to engage in meaningful learning activities.
For exemplars of setting up a collaborative mechanism for Reading across the Curriculum, see Appendix III:
Exemplar 1: A Top-down Approach to Promoting Reading across the Curriculum Exemplar 2: A Bottom-up Approach to Promoting Reading across the Curriculum
3.6.2 Creating a Favourable Reading Environment and Atmosphere Provide a well-equipped library;
Provide reading corner(s) with comfortable seats and a quiet environment;
Provide facilities to engage students in e-reading anytime and anywhere;
Place a wide variety of reading materials in different areas of the school campus, e.g.
classrooms, special rooms, student activity rooms, playground, for students and parents to enjoy;
Display posters, signs, notices, charts, words of wisdom, proverbs, student work, etc on campus to encourage students to read more;
Organise theme-based book exhibitions;
Organise a wide range of reading activities, e.g. storytelling contests, talks by authors and book exhibitions on designated themes or topics;
Nurture reading ethos through teachers and the School Head acting as role models; and Try other innovative ideas, e.g. e-chatroom for sharing on books.
3.6.3 Raising Students’ Reading Motivation and Interest
Arouse students’ interest in reading. To begin with, they can be given extrinsic rewards like prizes or praises;
Trigger students’ intrinsic motivation to read by providing them with adequate opportunities to share and exchange their feelings and ideas from the reading process in oral, artistic, written and dramatic forms. Sharing and exchange of ideas can be done on an individual or a group basis, e.g. sharing of reading experience between teachers and students and book chats among students to share the fun of reading;
Arrange a diversified range of reading activities within and outside class time, e.g. book clubs, thematic reading, visits by authors or book recommendations on the campus TV;
Select a variety of reading materials to cater for students’ diverse reading interests. For example, as boys tend to prefer texts on popular science while girls tend to favour literary texts, they should be allowed to choose their favourite type of books but at the same time encouraged to read different kinds of books. In addition, choose or recommend appropriate reading materials based on students’ cognitive development;
Involve students in the selection of library books or the compilation of a list of books they wish the library to procure;
Train upper primary students to be Reading Ambassadors, who share with the lower primary students their experience in reading and the fun derived from it, so as to develop their sense of responsibility and confidence; and
Teachers, peers and parents give affirmative and constructive feedback which can raise students’ reading motivation and sustain their drive to read.
3.6.4 Providing a Diversified Range of Appropriate Reading Materials
Create a text-rich environment with ample materials relevant to the school-based curriculum and appropriate to students' different cognitive levels, language abilities and interests;
Plan collaboratively and carefully to make good use of reading resources and available funds;
Set selection criteria with due regard to the quality of texts and choose reading materials that are well-written and of high quality; and
Choose suitable reading materials based on students’ genders, personalities and life experiences to cater for their different reading needs, so as to enhance their reading confidence, interests and abilities. For example, students can begin with picture books, nursery rhymes, or fairy tales, then move on to bridging books and science stories, and advance to stories with intricate plots and characters or other text types, and further move on to reading materials of a wider range of topics with greater complexity or subject-related content, and of different text types and styles.
Allow students to choose reading materials that they like while encouraging them to review and express opinions on the reading materials in terms of quality and usefulness;
For Reflection and Action
Some studies (such as "Progress in International Reading Literacy Study") have shown that girls generally outperform boys in reading in Hong Kong. The reason for this is believed to be the lack of due consideration for the choice of reading materials and activities which cater to boys’
interest. Think about whether the same situation applies in your school. If yes, what can you do to improve the boys’ reading performance?
Introduce a variety of reading materials in the classroom, e.g. picture books, bridging books, novels, play scripts, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, to ensure a balance of literary and information-based reading for extending students’ reading horizons; and
Make the most of web-based reading materials.
3.6.5 Providing Opportunities for Reading Strategy Learning
Based on the characteristics of different subjects, subject teachers should collaborate to provide students with guidance on reading so as to enable them to master different reading strategies:
Students need to reach a certain level of language ability to read effectively. Chinese Language and English Language teachers can collaborate with the Teacher-librarian to teach students general reading strategies in the language lessons and Library Periods, so as to help students conduct information search and understand the content of some general reading texts.
Books related to content subjects, e.g. Mathematics, General Studies, often include technical terms and concepts. Students need relevant prior knowledge to enhance reading effectiveness. Content subject teachers should, therefore, equip students with the prior knowledge and related reading strategies.
Create situations for students to reinforce and deepen their application of the reading strategies learnt during the learning process;
Arrange reading activities through cross-curricular collaboration, so as to enable students to apply the reading strategies learnt in different Key Learning Areas and raise their reading effectiveness; and
Develop students’ ability to select appropriate reading strategies and strengthen their meta-cognitive awareness.
Exemplar: Reading-related Learning Goals in Different Subjects
It is the responsibility of teachers to provide students with guidance on reading.
Through communication and collaboration, different subjects can set different reading strategies as the learning objectives to help students develop their “Reading to Learn” abilities:
In Chinese Language and English Language, students can be guided through texts to apply different reading strategies, such as working out the meaning of unfamiliar words, predicting, questioning, and locating key words and topic sentences, and start with “Learning to Read”.
In Mathematics, teachers can encourage students to read different types of books which illustrate mathematical concepts and tell stories about mathematicians to cultivate their interest in learning mathematics and develop their logical thinking ability.
In General Studies, students are encouraged to read diversified materials including newspapers, magazines and websites so as to enrich their knowledge and enhance their comprehension skills as well as multi-dimensional thinking skills.
3.6.6 Making the Most of Technology
Students need to learn through hands-on experience to apply technology in learning. This includes using information technology and other media to search, retrieve, select, analyse and synthesise information and to express ideas or present what they feel or learn from reading;
Make the most of e-resources to encourage e-reading; and
Set up a platform for e-reading and Internet-reading for students, teachers and parents to engage in reading and share their reading experiences and achievements.
3.6.7 Bringing in External Resources
Engage parents in regular participation in parent-child reading activities;
Make use of community resources (e.g. inviting experts from tertiary institutions and professional associations/organisations to conduct training workshops for teachers, students and parents or to be a partner in promoting reading on campus); and
Make use of the wide range of services offered by public libraries, for example, Reading Carnival, Reading Programmes for Children and Youth (including the book report scheme
“Stars of the Month”, Creative English Writing Workshop for Children, Parent Reading Workshop and Thematic Storytelling Workshop) and promotional activities on library resources and services.
3.6.8 Strengthening Communication and Building Up a Culture of Collaboration
Make use of different channels of communication, such as regular sharing sessions on pedagogy and professional development days, to enable all subject teachers to deliberate on the direction for the whole-school approach to the promotion of reading and to build consensus, so as to facilitate planning for collaboration; and
Understand the content, teaching progress and limitations of different subjects through daily exchanges and conversations to explore the need for and feasibility of collaboration and work out an entry point for cross-curricular collaboration.