By Nam Ngo Thanh
Reading and writing are very important skills for all of us. Thanks to these skills, our need to learn and acquire new knowledge is facilitated. The power of literacy skills is not only in reading and writing, but also in the ability of a person to apply these skills to connect, explain, and clearly distinguish the complexities of the world in which they are living. Whether you are a mathematics, history, science, or art teacher, the first thing to do to help your teaching effectiveness is to have your students have good reading and writing skills. With 11 years as an elementary school teacher, I have had the wonderful experience of teaching students the techniques of reading and writing effectively. Therefore, I can assert that, when a child has good literacy skills, the quality of education will inevitably be enhanced and maintained.
For many companies or offices, the requirements of the application process are to write a letter of recommendation along with the job application. In the case of high school graduates, students have completed their final year of studies at university but still do not know how to write a letter, presenting a coherent idea. These specialized students may be good, but do not pay attention to developing reading and writing skills. The result is the same job application, a professional who does not really excel, but has a clear plan, and the target of recruiting is more dominant.
The current reality is that reading requirements in high school in some parts of the world are not considered important. At the teacher preparation exams, students only need to learn the summary to be able to get good grades rather than to practice reading skills regularly. Oftentimes, education is not about reading, writing, or thinking through language. And, thus sadly, those learners have not realized the importance of reading for themselves. As a result, many young people lack the skills to read and write properly and are unable to express thoughts effectively.
In my personal experience, the development of literacy skills for children should be maintained at various times rather than focusing on a fixed subject area. Many educators think that teaching reading and writing skills to children is the task of language teachers. It is important to remember that reading and writing skills will greatly assist children in learning subjects or any other activities. Then there is no reason for us to impose the teaching of literacy skills as the work of a particular subject. At our school, students are included in the Effective Reading program (ERP) as a compulsory activity for all students at all grade levels. After a year of development, by reading the different types of books and writing the diary for the books they read, we found some of the benefits of this program:
Due to the impact of information technology and the widespread use of the internet, e-book pages have become common place, Many pages are read and books are downloaded free of charge to attract the attention of students. Depending on the age, the use of internet in reading will have certain support. However, not everyone knows how to take advantage of the internet.
In spite of the fact that the Internet allows endless educational possibilities with the continuous flow of information, the vastness of the internet can be an obstacle for children who are unable to screen and interpret documented presentations efficiently. Young people need to practice targeted search skills on the internet. When it comes to recognizing the value of reading, one has the motivation, the goal to read effectively.
In short, children should have the ability to choose any form of reading that works for them as long as they have their literacy skills are developed. Teachers and parents alike need to be aware of this in order to help children develop their reading and writing skills.
Nam Ngo Thanh works as primary school teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He is a Microsoft Learning Consultant and Varkey Teacher Ambassador, having been a finalist for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize. He has authored multiple articles and been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. Nam was also named Educator of the Year Asia 2017 and the winner of the 2018 Global Collaboration PLN Award. Nam is the founder of the global projects Five Safe Fingers, Everyday Kindness, STEM and #SDGs in Action.