Reading for writing

Time and again, I, as an educator, witness a divide between parents and educators on the topic of homework. While teachers tend to understand the value of reading as homework, parents often limit their view of homework to written assignments. Parents ask us to delegate writing tasks to students, and thus writing wholly overshadows reading as a method of learning. Reading habits, as a result, are shrinking among students by the day.

A course book is designed to enhance both productive and receptive skills. Writing and speaking cultivate productive skills whereas listening and reading promote receptive skills. “Homework”, therefore, can refer to any activity that ensures the promotion of said skills, but production cannot occur without reception.

Reading precedes writing. For instance, when a child is enrolled in school, the child at first identifies the alphabet before she or he can write. Writing demands knowledge; and knowledge comes from reading. Researches indicate that one should read a hundred books to write a hundred sentences. Learning to write well, therefore, rests crucially on learning to read well.

Merely engaging students in a written activity does not promote their writing skills. Instead, it is a well-designed reading activity that facilities the growth of convincing writing and expands the horizons of a student. Independent reading habits keep students motivated, occupied and self-disciplined.

Reading activities are eventful and exciting for young learners. They allow students to dive into the realm of imagination and simultaneously develop habits that will keep them updated on latest events. A reading habit can prove more addicting than online games and social networking sites, and is far more useful besides.

Reading activities should be prioritised in every school. Pre reading, while reading, post reading, silent reading and loud reading can be practised along with creative techniques in classrooms to make students gravitate towards reading. Course texts should be read independently as doing so enhances a student’s self-confidence. Conducting a separate reading exam could be a useful option for educational institutions to adequately prioritise reading as a means of learning. Picking up alternatives to course books, like daily newspapers, children magazines, novels, story books and poems should be highly encouraged.