Monday, November 8, 2010

Library time

            "Our children are no longer having a good command of the English language", "The spate of 'pidgin-English' among the youth is now alarming", "Young Ghanaians these days don't read books" -- these are some comments you hear people pass nowadays.
            Yes, it is true, but what/who is to be blamed for this development; what steps are being taken to remedy the situation?
            We have individuals blaming the Internet (which is quite ridiculous). Others blame mobile technology (i.e. Short Messaging System [SMS]).
             Personally, I believe it has to do with the fact that young people don't read extensively anymore. I don't recommend reading just as an act, but reading very informative, resource-enriched books/articles.
            This brings to mind my Junior high School days in 'saito' (a local government-funded school). Every week, we had 40 minutes of class time, dedicated to what was termed 'library time'. It was a time for the class to read any book at all. We had boxes full of books in the head-teacher's office -- arranged according to the various classes. It was a cherishable moment. Some of us even went further to discuss our books with others.
            Of course, back then we didn't know we were building our vocabulary. We thought we were reading for the fun of it (not forgetting the colourful pictures in the books). Truth, however, is that it did a lot to improve not just our vocabulary in terms of writing, but also in speaking the English language.
             I advocate strongly that this item in our time-tables (for schools), is brought back and sustained.

2 comments:

  1. I started speaking pidgin at a very young age. Probably class 3. I just thought of it as a completely different language so it never interfered with regular English.
    It's sad how kids don't read these days. They are more interested in computer games

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  2. It's interesting how your mind was 'programmed' to see pidgin as a totally complete language. I. Like. That.
    Even with computer games, there are educative ones that can improve vocabulary.

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