Insight or Perspective: “Parents and grandparents need to model good reading behaviours”

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By Eleni Elefterias

We all like to encourage our children to read and be interested in Greek topics.

One way to encourage our children is by having a home library. First of all, if we do not read, we can’t expect our children to be interested in reading either. We as parents and grandparents need to model good reading behaviours for our children.

So apart from books in our library for adults we should also have a children’s book section which should include books about Greek mythology, Greek history and Greek fairy tales in English translation as well as in Greek. A good selection of bilingual books is also good. They will learn to treasure and read these books over and over again. 

You may need to read to them at first but before long they will be reading on their own.

The books should be age appropriate and level appropriate. For books in simple Greek start with small stories and build up to short stories for young readers. The publisher Patakis has small storybook readers that are colour coded. They start with 50 words, 100 words, 300 words all the way to over 500 word story books. All come with colour illustrations and bigger print suitable for young readers.

Remember, children at a young age may not be able to read Greek but they can’t read English either so what harm does it do to read to them in Greek? 

Having a home library gives many benefits to children and teaches them how to respect and look after books, practise reading in English and Greek and have pride in their reading ability.

The biggest benefit of course is how much they will learn about the various topics they read about and how their vocabulary will increase. Also having their own library is magic! Next week how to put a good library together!

*Eleni Elefterias-Kostakidis is a teacher of Modern Greek and University lecturer. 

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