Why do we find reading a daunting (ขู่ขวัญ) task? Are we supposed to acquire this skill automatically as we grow older?
It was pointed out by Ms. Anna Hasper, in the seminar we attended, that reading does not come naturally. This gives us the idea that teachers are important to encourage students to read and love this complex activity.
When our brains evolved, our ancestors were able to communicate using sounds, but before that, they learned to listen to nature and to each other. Later on, they developed speech and used alphabets as codes.
Now, imagine reading in a different language. That could be even worse, and you cannot blame why Thai students don’t consider it a favorite pastime.
Studies show that our brains are not wired to read but to listen and tell stories.
Why is reading important?
- It sharpens your mind. (ฝึกสมอง)
- If you read, you lead. As the saying goes “Today a reader, tomorrow a Leader”. It takes you out of your comfort box, and learn to think outside of it. (คิดนอกกรอบ)
- Develops critical thinking. You learn to pass judgments on events and learn to analyze things. You don’t just say “Yes” all the time. (การคิดเชิงวิพากษ์)
- It makes you HAPPY. Obviously, this is our goal in life. When you read stories, it takes you into a world that you can access any time you want. (มีความสุข/สบายใจ)
Tips on how to read effectively
- Warm-up. You can do this by solving crossword puzzles, playing scrabble, creating words from jumbled letters. In other words, expand your vocabulary knowledge.
- Read simple stories. You’re not required to read The Lord of the Rings just to keep up with your friends. As a beginner, you can start with Dr. Seuss or any book you find easy to understand.
- Try to read with your mind and not your mouth. When you read aloud, you have a tendency to focus on pronunciation, and this might keep you out of focus to understand the story.
- If you are already improving and you want to read faster, try to get to the next line by moving your eyes diagonally. The shortest distance between the line you have read going to the next line will be best.