It may sound like a silly question that holds an obvious answer. But can the promotion of reading as a leisure activity actually increase the quality of written work?
I ask because the young people (a majority of males) to whom I teach ‘sport’ to in further education, consistently frustrate me with their below-average use of English, particularly spelling and grammar, as well as sentence structure. They have all of the knowledge – they can answer questions thoroughly with detailed explanations. Ask them to write this information down, however, and they falter greatly. Many colleagues, and even more senior practitioners, have simply suggested varying assessments to reduce written work. I accept this to a degree but feel I would be failing my learners if I weren’t to try and develop their essential written skills. But, how?
It recently struck me that most of these young men have probably never read a book. Could this be the best way for them to observe and appreciate the proper use of English? My challenge for this year is to ensure each learner reads a whole book (measured by whether they can summarise the plot or findings) every six weeks. I look forward to sharing the results!
This article originally appeared in the July 2017 edition of UKEdChat Magazine
Click here to subscribe to the printed edition each month
@SamGarnhamEdu Lecturer in Sport – Leicestershire