Tag Archives: reading

Vocabulary

One of the most important components of creative writing is a wide and varied vocabulary. The easiest way to acquire a good vocabulary is by reading.  I remember my English teacher saying to the class that he didn’t mind what we read as long as we read something – even cornflake packets! For parents it is really worthwhile persevering until you find something that your son or daughter will read; it’s better that they read football magazines than nothing at all! Unfortunately these days many pupils are quite resistant to any type of reading and teachers have to resort to other means to improve.

While browsing on-line I found this picture which illustrates wonderfully how rich a language English is.

said is dead

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Reading: lesson 1

reading

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October 14, 2013 · 7:15 am

If you think reading is boring…..

reading

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October 7, 2013 · 7:04 am

The importance of reading

Maybe this is how we should all be selling the notion of reading to youngsters??reading

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Summer Holidays recycled!

No apologies for re posting this one plus its link to an even earlier Holiday post – they’re both still very relevant.

Well, the exams are just about over now and it’s time to put the books away and set off on holiday. I’m sure you all deserve a really good break!

But – and there’s always a but – the summer holidays are a long break, particularly if you’ve just done GCSEs or A levels, and you don’t want to start either your AS courses or University on the back foot. Try to put aside some time during the long summer break to get some of your reading list completed, for example. You’ll be really pleased you did, once your courses start. As I’ve commented before, there’s quite a jump up in level from GCSE to As and even more so when you start a degree course. Some universities even run remedial/catch up courses in the first few months as pupils struggle with the level of work.

Another factor is that at University and to some extent  AS/A level a student is expected to be self-motivating and to study alone. This takes some practice and the holidays is a good time to start.

For pupils lower down the school there are plenty of suggestions in my blog of last year, Holiday Work  https://suesmithprivatetuition.com/2011/07/18/holiday-work/ ‎, of ways to learn/study painlessly (well, almost!) during the holidays.

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What connects football and reading?

The answer is a  new scheme to promote literacy and encourage boys, in particular, to read more.

The results of this scheme have been quite dramatic as shown in this report in The Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10053825/Footballers-help-get-children-reading.html

Footballers get a lot of stick in the press and it’s good to see their positives played up for once. Seeing that footballers read regularly can provide a good role model and really encourage young boys to read more.

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Phonetic fun

OH JOHNNY

A grade school teacher in Kentucky asks her students to use the word Fascinate in a sentence. Molly put her hand up and said’ “My family went to
my Granddad’s farm, and we all saw his pet sheep. It was fascinating.”
The teacher said, “That was good, but I wanted you to use the word “fascinate”, not fascinating.”
Sally raised her hand and said “My family went to see Rock City and I was fascinated.”
The teacher said, “Well, that was good Sally, but I
wanted you to use the word fascinate. Little Johnny raised his hand.
The teacher hesitated because she had been burned by Little Johnny before. She finally decided there
was no way he could damage the word “fascinate”, So she called on him.
Johnny said, “My aunt Gina has a sweater with ten buttons, but her boob’s are so big she can only fasten eight.
The teacher sat down and cried.Phonetics

Maybe the look and say method of teaching reading has something to recommend it after all??

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Summer Holidays

 

Well, the exams are just about over now and it’s time to put the books away and set off on holiday. I’m sure you all deserve a really good break!

But – and there’s always a but – the summer holidays are a long break, particularly if you’ve just done GCSEs or A levels, and you don’t want to start either your AS courses or University on the back foot. Try to put aside some time during the long summer break to get some of your reading list completed, for example. You’ll be really pleased you did, once your courses start. As I’ve commented before, there’s quite a jump up in level from GCSE to As and even more so when you start a degree course. Some universities even run remedial/catch up courses in the first few months as pupils struggle with the level of work.

Another factor is that at University and to some extent  AS/A level a student is expected to be self-motivating and to study alone. This takes some practice and the holidays is a good time to start.

For pupils lower down the school there are plenty of suggestions in my blog of last year, Holiday Work  https://suesmithprivatetuition.com/2011/07/18/holiday-work/ ‎, of ways to learn/study painlessly (well, almost!) during the holidays.

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Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again

I recently rewatched the classic Hitchcock film of the novel Rebecca starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier. The first line of the novel, quoted in the post’s title, is one of the most memorable first lines in any novel. Watching the film made me think about how underrated du Maurier is as a novelist. In Rebecca the characterisation is very accomplished and the house itself takes on an eerie presence. My absolute favourite though has to be Jamaica Inn with its setting on bleak Bodmin Moor – a thrilling story of smuggling and Gothic horror.  Many of her novels have leant themselves to film or TV adaptation and one of the most successful was her short story Don’t Look Now set in Venice and starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland. This is the only film that has made me scream aloud in the cinema!

Why not give her novels a try !

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Holiday work

Everyone needs a break and I’m not suggesting that you force your children to study during the summer holidays, however there are painless ways to help boost their literacy skills.

Why not choose a family book that you can all read together – taking in turns to read a chapter out loud. This works particularly well if you are on holiday with another family or are a large group. Younger children enjoy this especially and don’t forget to encourage people to try out character voices for the dialogue. Roald Dahl’s The Witches was a great success for one of our family holidays.

Encourage them to keep a holiday diary.

Why not take your youngsters to a play? Introduce them to Shakespeare with an open-air production – usually great fun. There are regular open-air productions all over the country from London (Regents Park) to Cornwall (Porthcurno). Taking them to any type of play/musical will encourage their powers of concentration if nothing else.

Many theatres run activities for young people over the summer – check out The Watermill in Newbury, for example, in this area. Museums and art galleries also offer similar opportunities – The Lightbox in Woking is a good example in the South East.

If you’re going on a long car journey, what about an audiobook? It’s a great way to revise a setbook, for instance, or to get a head start on one you will be studying when you go back in September.

If you’re going to France don’t underestimate how much French you can all pick up by listening to French radio or watching French TV. I particularly recommend silly quiz games – it’s fairly easy to follow these.

If they see you reading – they might too! Reading is one of the best ways to increase vocabulary and improve spellings. Encourage them to read anything and everything – football mags or OK are much better than no reading at all.

If you’re staying somewhere with plenty of outside space why not challenge them to devise a treasure hunt for the adults (you buy the prize!) perhaps with rhyming clues – or if that’s too tricky you write one for them. A good bottle of red wine can provide excellent inspiration (for the adults that is!).

Learning isn’t just something that happens at school.

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