One of the search terms that brought someone to my blog recently was "students + don't + read + because". I'm not sure they found the answer, but here it is ...
Because English teachers have killed reading. We've taken every inch of fun, amazement, and adventure out of it. We replaced it with book reports and multiple choice tests. We've used daily reading quizzes to make sure students read.
Want to know how to make students read? Give them books they're interested in! Then you won't have to make them do anything. They'll want to read.
How are we going to do this? Choice. Something I've talked about before and will continue to talk about.
It's time we English teachers end our tyranny over books and allow students to read books of their choosing. This requires that we restructure our classrooms and how we teach. This is good! It allows us to focus on the skills of reading - the skills we should be teaching in order to help students become better readers in life -- and to continue reading even when it is not shoved down their throats. I've talked about this here, here, here, and here. If you 'd like to know more you can e-mail me (see link on the right side of the page) or ask a comment here.
Put an end to ...
(1) book reports - even the "fun" ones that we know aren't fun at all unless you already love reading and ELA class
(2) reading quizzes
(3) tests about a book
(4) reading a book because it was the teacher's favorite
(5) reading a book because somebody (Lord knows who) decided it was "good"
Save students from bad English teaching!