Teaching Books


I love reading, you all know I love reading,
otherwise I wouldn’t have a BookTube channel, but when I was in school I really didn’t enjoy
English Literature, and I think there’s a problem with that. Hi everybody, it’s Lydia here! I want to talk about the way we teach books
in school because I feel like we forget that books are
there to be enjoyed. I just want to say first off that I know a
lot of this is down to the whole way schools are set up these days and everything is so geared towards exams, exams, exams! but I do feel that English in particular has
been impacted quite a lot by this and we could be doing more to help people
enjoy reading in English Literature a whole lot more. One of the big issues I have with English
Literature is with the way we over-analyse books and I don’t feel like we give pupils enough
time to enjoy them as books. I feel like there should be more of an emphasis
on encouraging the pupils to read the books before they actually study them. I know this is a problem because a lot of
teachers say ‘read this over the summer holidays’ and a lot of kids don’t do that, and I feel like one way we could encourage
them more is to give schools audio copies of books which they could then send to students and
they could download them and listen to them at home and that might encourage them to actually
read the book more or at least listen to the book. I know, from a personal point of view, I enjoyed the books a whole lot more when I had the time to just sit down and read
them before I sat down in class and just analysed
them to death. I do think the whole way it’s structured at
the moment where you read a chapter the week before you
have to study it it just breaks up the whole book. A lot of books it takes a while to get into
them and telling a student to read the eighteenth
chapter in a book when you’ve read the previous seventeen chapters
for preview weeks I feel that because you’ve broken it up so
much they haven’t really had the time to properly
get into the book and enjoy it. I also feel that a lot of the time the books
chosen to study at school could be done in a different way. I’m talking here particularly about books
which are selected for exams. It used to drive me crazy when I would get
to an exam and I would sit down and get to the part where you would have to pick the question based
on the book you’d studied and i’d look at the other questions and think ‘damn, I would’ve loved to have studied that
book and written a question on that’. Maybe there should be an emphasis on asking
students which book, out of those ones being asked
questions on for the exams, which book they want to study because I feel like kids might be more inclined
to engage with that book if they have had that option. Obviously, that is quite an idealistic view, and very often teachers have to decide quite
far in advance what books they’re going to study and I know that is an issue, but I think there
could be a work around. Maybe ask them before the start of the summer
holidays, or something. Really just finding ways to get kids more
engaged with the books they’re studying. My final point, and this goes back to enjoying the book before
you over-analyse it is to just discuss it. I feel like there’s not enough simple discussion
about books. One of the best English Literature lessons
I had in school was where we literally just spent a lesson
talking about books that we loved and enjoyed and then that went on to talking about books
around the genre that we studying and so on and so forth, and it allowed us to get into proper discussions
about these books. It’s very idealistic, I do know that, but I do think there should be more general
discussion about the book and not just about ‘what do you think this
line there means?’ I certainly enjoyed books and plays a whole
lot more when we looked at them as a whole, first off,
before over-analysing them, because that allowed me to really engage with
the book. I do feel like we look into analysis too much, and we look at words that are used and think ‘oh that word was clearly used because the
author was depressed or had got divorced or whatever’ and it does drive me a bit crazy because I think a lot of the time that’s a
load of BS. But anyway, to finalise, because i’m basically talking about this like
an essay now, I think we should allow kids to read the books
and enjoy the books and discuss the books first, before we over-analyse them, and there should
be more encouragement towards reading the books, even if that involves
audio copies, there just needs to be more emphasis on enjoying
the book first as a book and then going on to over-analyse it. Anyway, let me know in the comments what you
think about this, because I know some people really love the
way it’s done at the moment, and I know some people really hate the way
it’s done at the moment, so i’d be really interested to hear what your
experiences were, regarding this whole issue. Anyway that’s it from me today. I will see you again soon, but until then, bye!

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