Reading books is not only fun, it's also one of the best ways to develop one's language skills. I tend to drone on about it to anybody willing to listen, especially to the parents of my students, and then, inevitably, I get asked this eternal question. How to persuade children to read books?
The answer is painful. Not because it is so difficult, no. But there are two conditions, and in most cases when parents hear them, I can see the answer on their faces right away: "Not going to happen."
Condition one: they need to read books themselves, regularly.
"But we don't have time for reading. We are so busy."
Well, children are busy, too. There are so many things, school, friends, the Internet, homework, computer games, after-school classes, Netflix. If the adults demonstrate every day that reading isn't important enough to find time for it, children won't bother either. Why would they?
Condition two: all those wonderful electronic distractions (I'm not being sarcastic here - they are wonderful, and I'm quite fond of them) need to get switched off for some time. Books are low profile entertainment, and they seem unattractive at first in comparison with all the flashier options. It takes a little time for children to start appreciating them, but once they do, you can usually switch all electronics back on quite safely. The kids have been hooked.
Do you agree with my opinion? Have you discovered a better way? Let me know!