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HELBLING READERS BLOG

5 tips on reading with young learners during the holidays

June 13, 2022 by Nóra Wünsch-Nagy

The holiday season is here, and it is important for children to continue reading, both in their first, and foreign, languages. Some children naturally turn to their favourite books and magazines when school is out, and carry a book with them everywhere. However, some children need encouragement to find the right books, and realize that holiday reading is reading for fun. In this post, we share five ideas to help you support young learners (students between ages 6 and 11) with reading and learning English all through the holidays. 
 

1 Read a variety of texts and discover new stories

For teachers

If you recommend or lend reading materials to your students for the holidays, remind them that they can read magazines, picture books, short stories, interviews, or any other text they find interesting. Reading regularly is more important than reading only the compulsory texts, and reading during the holidays should be fun. 

Suggestions for parents/guardians

If you are going to invest in buying reading materials, think about what the children like reading or talking about. Is it detective stories? Football? Magic tricks? Artificial intelligence? Pets? There is a wide selection of reading material available (from short adapted novels to picture books) about all the topics that children like. 

Check out the Young Readers, The Thinking Train and the Red Readers series in the Helbling English catalogue.
 

2 Visit a library or a bookstore

For teachers

One fun holiday assignment can be visiting the local library and looking for books in English there. If you are teaching a holiday course, dedicate a day to taking the students to the library. You will find ideas on library activities at the end of this post.

Suggestions for parents/guardians

Recommend taking children to the local library or bookstore to look for English books. If it is difficult to go to an English language bookstore or if there are no English language books in the library, try one of the following ideas:

  • Order an English language book together
  • Download a sample chapter from a book from an online bookstore
  • Look for stories about the child’s favourite topics/people online

 

3 Listen to audiobooks 

Listening to audiobooks gives a whole new experience to language learners. They can simply enjoy the sound of the language, stop the recording and imitate what they hear, or read along with the audio recording. 

For teachers

Reading to children in class is always fun, but during the holidays they need good materials to listen to. Recommend a selection of audio recordings and other audio materials so that children can listen to something in English regularly. The audios of Helbling Young Readers and the Thinking Train are available online. 

Suggestions for parents/guardians

If you don't feel comfortable reading to your children in English, you  can dedicate some time to listening to audio recordings of stories, poems or narrated versions of picture books together. The audios of Helbling Young Readers and the Thinking Train are available online. 

 

4 Make reading a daily routine

For teachers

Helping students build a reading routine is one of the greatest achievements for teachers. During the holidays, instead of giving a lot of activities, give your students a reading timer on which they can mark every 15 minutes they read. If you are teaching a holiday course, dedicate some time to fun reading every day.

Download our reading timer.

Suggestions for parents/guardians

Even if parents and guardians don’t know much English, they can dedicate some time to reading in English with their children every day. Simply sit down with the children and spend some fun time together looking at books in English, asking their children to read sentences to them and explain some words.

Download our free guide 'How to help your guide read in English'.

 

5 Talk about what you read and play word games

For teachers 

Encourage students to keep a holiday reading journal in which they write about their favourite scenes and characters. They can also take notes of their favourite new words and their thoughts during reading. If they find interesting information or references to check out, they can also keep notes of those. When you are back at school, ask students about their favourite stories. Consolidate new vocabulary in a fun way. You can play word games (for example Hangman, Bananagrams, Categories, Taboo). 

Suggestions for parents/guardians

It is important to ask your children about what they are reading. You can also learn new words from the children and play word games in English for fun.

If you are interested in other aspects of reading in English with young learners, we recommend these posts:

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