World Book Day 2021 / ワールドブックデー2021
Recently I saw online that my friends and family were celebrating World Book Day. My friends’ children dressed as their favorite character. I enjoyed seeing the pictures, they looked like they were having fun. I love to read — it’s one of my favorite things to do. In our school English curricula we make a point of giving the students time and access to stories and books. Of course students need to learn reading skills for exams, but I think reading for pleasure can be just as important. It not only helps students to develop critical thinking skills, improve vocabulary, and build better grammar awareness but also builds empathy, social skills and communication skills.
In the 10th grade lessons we focus on fairytales in first semester and short children’s stories based on real life in second semester. It’s a wonderful way to make ideas like childhood, imagination, and morals acceptable, as well as cultural differences and similarities, and social issues.
In the junior high school students have 20 minutes a week in the Reading Zone. There, they are able to choose a book of their liking and read it silently. Once they have finished reading they go talk to the teacher about it. This year the 9th graders are very interested in the science books, whereas the 8th graders are more interested in folk tales from other countries.
I feel that books are a vital part of life — they allow us access to worlds and experiences we can never experience in our true lifetimes. There is a famous quote by an author named George R.R. Martin that says, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” This is something I often thing about and hope to bring to my students.
Translated by H.S 127回生