The Dukesbridge Blog


Happy World Book Day!



On 2nd March 2017, Dukesbridge Primary students took part in World Book Day. This is a day where children all over the UK celebrate and appreciate reading their favourite books, as well as discovering new ones. To get into the spirit of the day, the children came to school dressed as a character in their favourite book. The whole day was filled with book-themed activities such as the mad-hatter tea-party hosted by our very own Miss Kirsty dressed as Alice in Wonderland. It was great to see everyone so involved and excited about reading!


As a teacher of English in a primary school, I have witnessed and experienced first hand the joy and wonder of stories read aloud. Reading aloud to students exposes them to a rich array of adventures of the mind and awakens them to a more active reading life of their own.



Building Vocabulary


Children’s books are an excellent source of new vocabulary. Researchers developed a common lexicon consisting of the 10,000 words we use most often. Any word beyond those words is considered “rare”. Children’s books provide 30.9 rare words per thousand, versus nine rare words per thousand found in conversation of an adult talking to a 3-year-old. Children who hear language from books have an advantage over their peers who hear language mostly in conversations. In fact in 2013 the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research showed that children four to five years of age who are read to daily are one year ahead of their peers who are read to less frequently.



Improving Communication and Self-Confidence


Children who are exposed to language from literature, and not just from conversations, will be able to communicate well with their parents, teachers and peers, says Jim Trelease, the author of "Read Aloud Handbook." He notes speech is full of jargon, colloquialisms and truncated sentences. Literature, on the other hand, is much more intricate and the language is more sophisticated. A child who hears more sophisticated words has an advantage in being able to communicate. Additionally, children who have the ability to find the words they want to use are more likely to have a strong self-image and sense of confidence.



Instilling a Desire to Read


Children who are read to will want to learn to read themselves. They become curious about the sounds that form language and want to discover the words on their own by using the sound of the first letter of a word. They use clues from the pictures to decipher the words on the page. They crave the skills to read a text and want to re-read familiar texts. The most important thing they learn is that they have a desire to read.


Being read to is a source of enjoyment, new knowledge, and the ever-present thrill of setting sail on voyages of the mind.


By Sara Masson

Facilitator of Early Readers Workshop (After-School Club)

Dukesbridge Port-Louis



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