i‑Learner Education Centre

Steps to Success » Adventures in Reading

Reading for Understanding

There are many ways to connect with a book, and at times, all we want to do is flick through the pages and explore. This can be especially fun with books aimed at young people, which have pictures and other graphic elements. We shouldn’t discourage young learners from flipping through books, especially those that are too difficult for them currently. These children are taking an interest and testing to see what they’re drawn to. However, there are times when they need to slow down and pay close attention, and it’s teachers’ and parents’ job to help with this.

When I help students prepare for exams, I often see them tearing through reader pages, feeling happy they’re revising so quickly. They can answer my first few questions without hesitation, but twenty minutes later, they struggle to recall what they’ve read. By the next day, they can’t answer basic questions about the characters or plot.

The reasons for this kind of forgetful reading are multitude, including low attention spans due to modern media, well-practised memorise-and-forget skills honed for exams, and a lack of experience with slow, thoughtful reading. Each of these issues requires a specific solution, such as controlled screen time, more time for recuperation after intense studying, and making time to read for pleasure outside of exams.

In both the short term – for exams – and the long term – for success in complex exams and for personal fulfilment – it’s important that students can make a deep connection with what they read. If your young learner hasn’t yet found their love of reading, try our Love to Read or Critical Reading and Writing classes, and keep an eye out for our holiday book clubs. Our teachers love reading so much we’ve even put together some reading lists. Check out the suggestions and see what spark’s your child’s interest.