Although most people read novels for the sheer entertainment they provide, at Forbest Academy, we view reading fiction as an invaluable learning experience that is central to most of the ELL courses we offer. The top four key reasons for this could be summed up as:
1. Greater chances of success on IB English and Provincial Exams
Exploring themes, such as integrity, stoicism, leadership, loyalty, and self-reliance, by making references to works of literature has become integral to IB English and provincial Exams. Hence, it is essential that students read novels and short stories throughout their school years. The following question from a recent IB exam highlights the need for incorporating works of literature into English courses:
“The erroneous thoughts of the privileged few has often been the base upon which writers have developed interesting plots. Compare the ways the writers of two or three works you have studied have developed such motivations.”
Evidently, students who have not read a certain number of novels or short stories which explore the most popular universal themes or have failed to delve into key concepts in those novels and short stories will be at a major disadvantage once they take such tests.
2. A wider range of vocabulary
Upon admission to college, students’ opportunities for learning new words will greatly decrease as their reading time will be pretty much limited to studying academic textbooks rife with jargons and technical terms. Accordingly, the golden time for expanding one’s knowledge of vocabulary will be school years where students can read works of literature to learn new words.
3. A better command of English syntax and spelling
On average, students who read extensively make fewer spelling mistakes compared to those who choose to listen to audio books or watch movies. The degree of involvement in the act of reading and the amount of exposure to words and grammatical structures meticulously chosen and adroitly used by acclaimed authors leave their mark on students’ performance on essay writing activities. Apart from giving students ample knowledge of recognition, reading novels helps readers activate words and sentence structures contextualized in the plot of novels and short stories.
4. A greater degree of creativity
Reading great works of literature can enhance students’ levels of creativity as they help them unleash their imagination. Provided that the right feed is provided, learners can apply the insightful ideas they are introduced to in thought-provoking novels and short stories to a variety of other contexts.