Friday, September 22, 2006
A reader for life?
I have been thinking a lot about what makes a life long reader lately. I keep coming back to Wes Fryer's blog post where he talked about Stephen Krashen's idea of a "home-run book". This is the book that a previous non reader, or reluctant reader or even just a child reader, is introduced to that hooks them on reading for life. In my research I am finding that children who previously liked reading in primary school sometimes go off it when they reach puberty,.for reasons that I don't yet know.When I think of my own experiences as a reader can remember two times in my life that I became hooked on reading. The first was when I was five and I learnt to read after about six months of school. The second time was when I was introdced to reading adult books when I was thirteen. I still remember the teacher's name, Mrs Kenworth, and what she looked like. She was a kind, motherly woman, with a sense of hmour and she turned me on to life long reading as an adult. The strange thing was that she was my maths teacher. I've never been good at maths but I liked it in Year 8. Mrs Kenworth was teaching us about deductive reasoning and she said that Sherlock Holmes exemplified this. She suggested we read Arthur Conan Doyle, which I did. Since then I have read all of Agatha Christie and enjoyed a lifetime of literature and crime fiction, not to mention English teaching. I guess she suggested my "home run book" for me. How often do we think that no matter which subject we teach that we could be the one suggesting the home run book for one of our students. Makes us think again about how we are all teachers of literacy, doesn't it? Can you remember the person that got you into reading for life?