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Four Key Tasks – Achieving Learning to Learn
3B Reading to Learn
This is one of the chapters of the Basic Education Curriculum Guide - To Sustain, Deepen and Focus on Learning to Learn (Primary 1 - 6). Its contents are as follows:
3.1 Background
3.2 Purposes of the Chapter
3.3 Objectives of “Reading to Learn”
3.4 The Way Forward for “Reading to Learn”
  3.4.1 “Learning to Read” and “Reading to Learn”
  3.4.2 Development Strategies for “Reading to Learn”
3.5 Whole-school Strategies for Promoting “Reading to Learn”
  3.5.1 The Roles of Different Stakeholders in Promoting Reading through the Whole- school Approach School Heads/Deputy Heads Primary School Curriculum Leaders Teacher-librarians Teachers Parents Students
  3.5.2 Mechanism for Collaboration in Reading across the Curriculum
3.6 Effective Measures to Foster “Reading to Learn”
  3.6.1 Allocating Time for Reading
  3.6.2 Creating a Favourable Reading Environment and Atmosphere
  3.6.3 Raising Students’ Reading Motivation and Interest
  3.6.4 Providing a Diversified Range of Appropriate Reading Materials
  3.6.5 Providing Opportunities for Reading Strategy Learning
  3.6.6 Making the Most of Technology
  3.6.7 Bringing in External Resources
  3.6.8 Strengthening Communication and Building Up a Culture of Collaboration
3.7 Expectations on Students
  3.7.1 Expected Outcomes for Students
  3.7.2 Specific Reading Competencies in Chinese Language Education and English Language Education Key Learning Areas
  3.7.3 Assessment of Reading Outcomes
3.8 Support for Schools
Appendices (I-III)
3.1 Background
Since the introduction of the curriculum reform in 2001, “Reading to Learn” has been actively promoted in schools. The following are some of the good practices widely adopted by schools to promote a reading atmosphere:
* Make reading a key focus in the school development plan;
* Adopt a whole-school approach and enlist parents’ support in promoting reading through home-school cooperation;
* Assign time for reading, e.g. morning or afternoon reading sessions, to enable students to read regularly;
* Provide students with guidance in developing reading strategies;
* Create an environment favourable to language learning;
* Organise a diversified range of reading activities and reward schemes;
* Use diversified and appropriate reading materials;
* Appoint a Teacher-librarian delegated to promote reading; and
* Take part in reading activities organised by the EDB and the community, such as the Reading Fair and World Book Day.
Thanks to schools’ efforts in the past ten years, there has been significant improvement in Hong Kong students’ reading performance, which is evident in the results of international assessments of students’ reading ability. In the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the ranking of Hong Kong Primary 4 students’ reading performance jumped from the 14th place in 2001 to the top in 2011. In the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012, the reading performance of the 15-year-old Hong Kong students ranked second, and the digital reading performance ranked third. These data are solid proof of the right direction we have taken in promoting reading in the Basic Education Curriculum Reform. However, the findings from the research studies above and the External School Reviews have also pointed out that there is still room for improvement in areas such as school holistic planning for the promotion of reading, and strategies for increasing students’ interest in and engagement with reading, as well as their depth of reading.
In addition, by virtue of the rapid development of information technology and continuous extension of the frontiers of knowledge, using information technology to foster interactive learning is an irreversible trend, which makes digital literacy all the more important. Schools need to rise to the new challenge of making the most of the new e-reading media to support students in handling vast amounts of rapidly-changing information for effective learning. In light of this, the effort to promote “Reading to Learn” should be sustained in the years ahead.
3.2 Purposes of the Chapter
* Illustrate the rationale behind “Reading to Learn” and the direction for future development
* Provide a summary of the effective measures adopted by schools to promote “Reading to Learn”
* Help teachers reflect on the effectiveness of the school-based initiatives to promote reading
3.3 Objectives of “Reading to Learn”
To cope with the demands in this digital era and knowledge-based society, students are not only expected to have considerable experiences in and a passion for reading, but also to master “Reading to Learn” skills, which enhance one’s overall learning capacity leading to life-long learning and whole-person development. During the process of reading, students should be able to draw upon their prior knowledge, learning experiences and world knowledge so as to gain an in-depth understanding of a text and construct meaning. Through extensive reading, they can connect their experiences and knowledge and achieve the following:
* acquiring, constructing, applying flexibly different areas of knowledge;
* enhancing the language abilities essential for communication, academic studies and intellectual development;
* unlocking potential and nurturing thinking and generic skills;
* cultivating a broad spectrum of interests, lifting the quality of life and enhancing their taste;
* cultivating their temperament and moral and affective qualities to strengthen their sense of responsibility towards self, family, society, nation and the world;
* fostering open-mindedness to accommodate different opinions, views, values and cultures; and
* extending students’ understanding of life and preparing them to rise to the challenges in life positively.
3.4 The Way Forward for “Reading to Learn”
To equip students well for a dynamically changing society, schools should help students progress from “Learning to Read” to “Reading to Learn”. Various strategies for promoting “Reading to Learn” can be adopted. Schools, for example, can start with fostering a culture of reading and then extend it to “Reading across the Curriculum” in order to help students develop the habit of and capacity for self-directed learning.
For Reflection and Action For Reflection and Action
Is self-directed learning all about allowing students to learn independently, e.g. reading books that they like, in the absence of teacher guidance?
3.4.1 “Learning to Read” and “Reading to Learn”
* “Reading to Learn” is built on “Learning to Read”. According to some research studies, the most critical period in which children learn to read is when they are between 0 and 9 years old1. Building on students’ reading experiences in the pre-primary stage, primary schools can plan the further development of students’ reading skills and strategies to enhance students’ interest and abilities in reading, and facilitate knowledge building through reading extensively.
* The progress from “Learning to Read” to “Reading to Learn” is cumulative, rather than linear. There is considerable overlap between the two practices, which can be developed in a parallel fashion. The lower primary level is an opportune time to promote “Learning to Read”. At this level, it is advisable for schools to guide students to master basic reading skills and strategies through providing meaningful contexts and a wide variety of meaningful reading activities. At the same time, schools may also create contexts, whenever possible, for students to experience both “Learning to Read” and “Reading to Learn” to ensure a balanced development of their reading abilities. “Reading to learn” should not be introduced at the upper primary level only after students have mastered the “Learning to Read” skills at the lower primary level.
* To help students reap the most benefits from “Reading to Learn”, schools can, in addition to carrying on cultivating students’ reading interests, guide students to develop the habit of reading and thinking autonomously in order to read deep into the texts. While providing students with guidance, teachers can lead them to connect what they read with their personal experiences, learning experiences and global affairs. Just as important is to model different strategies such as making associations, comparisons and inferences to deepen their understanding of the texts and create new thoughts and perspectives. When equipped with such reading strategies and habits, students will be able to acquire all kinds of knowledge and explore topics of interest to them through reading independently.
Effective Reading ─ “Making Connections”Effective Reading ─ “Making Connections”
Figure 3.1 From Reading to Learn
Figure 3.1 From Reading to Learn
* “Making Connections” is like building a bridge of knowledge. It helps students establish all kinds of links while reading.
  * Text to self (prior experiences and knowledge)
    Every student has their unique personal experiences and life knowledge. Students can be encouraged to relate their prior knowledge and experiences to the content of a text in order to construct meaning. For example:
    bullet_style1_2_3 When reading the fable “The Tortoise and the Hare”, students can be guided to recall their previous experience in competitions and share whether they have successful or unsuccessful experience similar to those of the tortoise or the hare. Students can be asked to think about the way to improve in future competitions from the perspectives of the tortoise, the hare or their own. In this way, students can compare and analyse their own life experiences with the story content, thus achieving a deeper understanding of the text.
    bullet_style1_2_3 When students read books about kinship or family, teachers can ask them whether they have the same experiences as the characters in the books or how they would treat their family members or elders if they were the characters in the books. Through relating what they read to their family life, students can reflect on their roles in the family and cultivate care for family members or filial affection for parents.
  * Text to learning experiences (e.g. from different Key Learning Areas)
    Students have already gained learning experiences from different disciplines. In the reading process, teachers can guide them to recall or re-organise their learning experiences, with a view to connecting knowledge from different disciplines or even applying it to make inferences and solve problems. For example:
    bullet_style1_2_3 When students read biographies, teachers can guide them to make association between the stories of people they have encountered in different subjects (e.g. the historical figures in General Studies, the musicians in Music, the artists in Visual Arts, the athletes in Physical Education) to deduce the common success factors, think about how they overcame difficulties and identify what is worth learning from them.
    bullet_style1_2_3 When students read popular science works, they can be encouraged to link the content with their knowledge of science and technology acquired in General Studies to deepen their understanding of the reading texts and to explain some natural phenomena.
  * Text to community or world (e.g. news issues, life events)
    Primary students have limited life experiences, but effective reading helps broaden their horizons and perspectives:
    bullet_style1_2_3 When students read the book《活在山區裡──貴州山區孩子的喜怒哀樂》, teachers can guide them to recall the TV programmes about fighting poverty and similar stories that they have read, and establish links with relevant news stories and life events in Hong Kong and the wider world. Through realising the living conditions of the people below the poverty line and thinking about how poor people can live a more fulfilling life, students’ care about the community and global awareness can be developed.
* To guide students in learning how to read in the information age, teachers should keep abreast of technological advancement. The growing popularity of e-readers and e-texts in recent years and the characteristics of e-texts, such as the embedded hyperlinks and the ease of search, have brought about changes in students’ reading habits. Much emphasis was put on enhancing students’ comprehension abilities in the learning and teaching of reading strategies in the past. With the development of e-book, teachers are encouraged to review students’ use of information technology for interactive learning, and provide suitable guidance on how to access e-texts, use effective web navigation to search for useful information as well as select and use online resources to tackle a problem.
For Reflection and Action For Reflection and Action
* What learning and teaching activities can be conducted to help students make connections effectively during the reading process?
* Is there any difference between the strategies for reading e-books and printed books?
* What are the criteria for recommending e-books to students?
3.4.2 Development Strategies for “Reading to Learn”
Schools in Hong Kong have accumulated substantial successful experience in promoting “Reading to Learn” through creating a whole-school reading culture. However, what lies ahead is getting “Reading across the Curriculum” off the ground. Building on the achievements in promoting a whole-school reading atmosphere and fostering students’ reading interests and habits, schools can sustain the impact by implementing cross-curricular reading programmes which provide opportunities for students to engage in purposeful and meaningful reading and make connections between the reading texts across various Key Learning Areas and their prior knowledge and life experiences. This approach to broadening and enriching students’ reading experiences empowers students to:
* continually acquire and construct new knowledge while broadening their horizons and developing a broad spectrum of interests and abilities; and
* extend ideas beyond texts to form new opinions and enhance language learning across different disciplines, leading to improved reading ability and humanistic qualities.
Figure 3.2 Objectives of Reading across the Curriculum
Figure 3.2 Objectives of Reading across the Curriculum
Schools can review the pace of promoting “Reading to Learn” and make adjustment to the development strategies by looking into the following areas:
Enhancing the reading atmosphere in the school campus
* Providing a favourable reading environment both within and outside class time to cultivate students’ reading interests and habits
* Planning a whole-school reading scheme or developing a school-based reading programme to enable students to learn to read systematically
* Providing appropriate encouragement to help students gain a sense of achievement and become engaged in reading
* Recommending quality reading materials to encourage students to read extensively, widen their reading horizons and raise interest in reading
* Creating reading contexts for students to learn, apply, reflect on, consolidate and internalise the reading skills and strategies learnt
* Giving attention to students’ reading quality and habit and making promoting Reading across the Curriculum an emphasis in the school’s development
(For details about the measures in relation to promoting a reading culture in schools, please refer to Section 3.6.)
Promoting Reading across the Curriculum
* Schools can coordinate different KLAs or subject departments, set up a mechanism for collaboration to enhance communication and forge a consensus through curriculum review, so as to help students extend their horizons, construct knowledge, enhance their creativity and develop positive values.
* Different KLA/subject departments can arrange for a diversified range of reading activities and schemes through different modes of collaboration to enable students to gain knowledge of different areas and apply reading skills and strategies to effectively retrieve different types of content knowledge. The following are the modes of cross-curricular collaboration commonly adopted by schools in promoting Reading across the Curriculum:
  * Different subject departments collaborate and decide on the reading skills and strategies to be taught, e.g. questioning, skimming, analysing, comparing, synthesising. Then, teachers of various subjects provide opportunities for students to learn and apply the reading skills and strategies acquired to raise their reading ability. (See Exemplar 1 in Appendix I)
  * Different subject departments collaborate and set a common theme for reading, which could be accompanied by a sub-theme. Then, the subject departments concerned design reading materials and tasks based on the theme and decide on the subject learning objectives to strengthen students’ understanding of the theme. In this way, students can gain insights into the subject content and master knowledge across different subjects. (See Exemplar 2 in Appendix I)
  * In line with project learning, the school sets a learning theme (or teachers can negotiate the theme with students) and allows students to select a sub-theme and formulate an inquiry plan, including reading materials related to the sub-theme. This provides students with opportunities to apply knowledge of related subjects to achieve an in-depth understanding of the reading content based on the objectives of the study, to construct knowledge and to present their personal views in the results of their study. (See Exemplar 3 in Appendix I)
* Different subject departments should have different emphases when promoting reading. For instance, the emphasis of General Studies is on enriching students’ scientific knowledge and fostering their spirit of exploration and science through reading books on popular science whereas the emphasis of language subjects is to provide guidance on understanding the language features of books on popular science and to cultivate in students a sense of benevolence to mankind and environment.
* Reading across the Curriculum enriches students’ reading experiences and stimulate them to make connections between their personal life experiences, prior knowledge and global affairs. This facilitates their in-depth reflection on the content of reading, establishes links between knowledge to enhance understanding, and fosters critical and creative reading.
For Reflection and Action For Reflection and Action
How is “Reading to Learn” promoted in your school? What are the next goal and development strategy?
3.5 Whole-school Strategies for Promoting “Reading to Learn”
Schools generally adopt a whole-school approach to fostering a reading atmosphere in schools. However, there is a need to sustain the promotion of “Reading to Learn” through incorporating “Reading across the Curriculum” in order to develop students’ capacity for self-directed learning. Schools are advised to make holistic plans to support students’ learning of reading, maximise the roles of different stakeholders and develop a flexible mechanism for collaboration together in order to aid students’ learning in response to the new trends in reading. (See Appendix II "An Exemplar on Promoting Reading across the Curriculum in School".)
3.5.1 The Roles of Different Stakeholders in Promoting Reading through the Whole-school Approach
The curriculum leaders and subject teachers play a vital role in promoting reading in school. Research studies have indicated that children’s reading skills development is also influenced by their family. There is therefore a need to strengthen home-school cooperation to help primary students cultivate an independent reading habit and accord importance to parental support. In addition, in keeping with the development of self-learning capacity, students should understand their role in learning and be held responsible for their own learning. The roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder are as follows: School Heads/Deputy Heads
* Promote reading as a regular concern of the school and allocate manpower and resources to sustain the effort in promoting reading;
* Clarify the role and duties of each KLA/subject in promoting “Learning to Read” and “Reading to Learn”;
* Bring together the consensus among different KLAs/subjects and set the expected learning outcomes for students’ reading development;
* Keep abreast of the latest trends in reading including e-books and be familiar with the latest development in technology and its application in the school;
* Deploy the Teacher-librarian to take up professional duties and strengthen his/her capacity to co-operate with curriculum leaders in organising and coordinating the promotion of reading;
* Adopt the latest concepts in enhancing the effectiveness of library services;
* Take pleasure in reading and be a good role model for both teachers and students; and
* Cultivate a reading culture among teachers. Primary School Curriculum Leaders
* Review the school-based curriculum of each subject and assist in planning the initiatives to promote “Reading to Learn” through a whole-school approach based on the strengths of the school;
* Be familiar with the latest trends in reading and facilitate teacher professional development;
* Encourage collaboration among teachers in guiding students to take part in related reading schemes;
* Monitor the quality of reading resources;
* Promote the use of effective reading strategies and activities; and
* Cultivate a reading culture among teachers. Teacher-librarians
* Play an active role in communicating with and co-ordinating different subject departments, take up the responsibility of co-ordinating and managing learning resources, strengthen the coherence between curricular and extra-curricular reading and design a diversified range of reading activities;
* Help students use the library in ways that are conducive to learning to learn, for example:
  * providing easy access to information in different ways using related technologies;
  * developing a variety of resource-based learning programmes to enhance the independent learning skills of students; and
  * devising effective strategies to nurture an interest in reading and to cultivate a habit of regular reading among students;
* Understand students’ reading interests and experience and make purchases of quality print and non-print books such as e-books;
* Work collaboratively with subject teachers in curriculum planning, and teaching, and promoting the use of information from various sources to facilitate learning and teaching. (For details, please refer to the exemplar in Chapter VII on "Collaborative Reading Lesson".)
* Ensure the availability and accessibility of quality resources, for example, enriching library resources in response to the needs from the latest curriculum development in Key Learning Areas and school-based curriculum emphasis;
* Improve the library service in the school to facilitate the implementation of reading and related learning activities by, for example, adjusting the opening hours; and
* Facilitate the development of information literacy within the school and keep abreast of the latest developments in curriculum and technology. Teachers
For Reflection and Action For Reflection and Action
* Apart from Chinese and English teachers, how can teachers of other subjects further promote “Reading to Learn”?
* What is your role in promoting reading among students?
* All teachers should regard promoting “Reading to Learn” as one of their responsibilities and help students learn better through:
  * Being a role-model of reading widely and effectively with reflections;
  * Encouraging students to read a wide range of Chinese and foreign reading materials and providing them with quality reading materials that are relevant and interesting to them; and
  * Providing timely feedback and encouragement based on students’ reading performance.
* Language teachers should understand students’ use of reading strategies and create, through communication and co-ordination with other subject teachers, contexts for students to apply the reading strategies they have learnt. Content subject teachers should promote reading in their subject, for example, by encouraging students to read more non-fiction texts, newspapers, magazines and pamphlets.
* Teachers of various subjects should collaborate to integrate the extensive use of information from multiple sources into their planning and lessons.
* Teachers should organise a diversified range of reading activities, e.g. book clubs, display of recommended books and reading cafés, for students to share their reading experiences and good practices regularly. Parents
Parents can build up a good reading environment at home to help their children cultivate a good reading habit in early childhood. Many studies2 show that there is positive impact on children’s future development of reading skills if parents regularly engage children in family reading activities such as reading books, storytelling and singing. To this end, parents need to:
* serve as role models for their children by reading regularly at home;
* set aside regular reading time, e.g. half an hour every day to read together with their children;
* ensure a quiet and comfortable reading environment, e.g. by turning off the TV and providing sufficient space and lighting;
* reward their children with praise, recognise their reading performance, encourage them to read and share their reading experiences;
* furnish their home with a good quantity and variety of reading materials, e.g. magazines, newspapers, story books, reference tools and e-books, which are chosen either by themselves or together with their children;
* recognise reading, including reading e-books, as a form of home assignment;
* participate in reading activities organised by the school or the public in order to acquire the skills and strategies necessary for helping their children read better;
* arrange a variety of family reading activities, e.g. library visits to borrow books, bookshop visits, attending talks on reading or culture, storytelling and reading e-books;
* co-operate with the school in motivating and guiding their children to read in order to enrich their knowledge and imagination, and improve their language proficiency; and
* make use of authentic contexts in daily life to help their children read, e.g. reading signs in parks, rules in public areas, product descriptions and MTR route maps.
EDB Resources for Parents
Pamphlet on “Parent-child Reading is Fun - for Parents of Children Aged 0-9”
Booklet for Parents of Children Aged 0-3
Booklet for Parents of Children Aged 3-6
Booklet for Parents of Children Aged 6-9
http://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/curriculum-development/major-level-of-edu/primary/materials/parent-child-reading/PC_Reading_6-9(E).pdf Students
* Discover where their reading interests lie and learn to find enjoyment from reading;
* Set aside regular reading time to read materials that suit their interest;
* Read texts of different content and text types to broaden their reading interests;
* Develop a habit of keeping a reading journal to enhance the depth of reading;
* Keep abreast of and share with classmates and family members the latest trends in e-reading;
* Visit libraries and bookshops after school and actively participate in the school’s reading scheme and library activities; and
* Share with others their reading experience and recommend good books.
3.5.2 Mechanism for Collaboration in Reading across the Curriculum
To effectively implement Reading across the Curriculum, the School Head, the Deputy Head and the Primary Curriculum Leader play a leading role in setting up a mechanism for collaboration through the following:
* leading and uniting all the staff members in the school to plan holistically for Reading across the Curriculum. The planning should be based on the learning and teaching needs and it is not necessary to restrict the collaboration to specific subjects nor is it mandatory to require all subjects to take part in the collaboration;
* gathering views from different subject departments and forging a consensus on the direction for Reading across the Curriculum, e.g.
  * the curriculum development team of the school assesses the school’s needs and different subjects’ direction for development and, through communication, establishes the consensus among different subject departments in order to plan for the school's vision and formulate the goals for Reading across the Curriculum; and
  * teachers or subject departments are encouraged to communicate and collaborate with one another and formulate the goals of Reading across the Curriculum based on students’ needs or teaching needs. The school’s curriculum development team can be invited to provide assistance;
* providing support and organising a reading task force for designing a curriculum based on the reading goals formulated;
* coordinating the teaching staff for the implementation of a school-based reading scheme or curriculum; and
* regularly reviewing the effectiveness of reading and providing feedback.
For exemplars of setting up a collaborative mechanism for Reading across the Curriculum, see Appendix III:
* Exemplar 1: A Top-down Approach to Promoting Reading across the Curriculum
* Exemplar 2: A Bottom-up Approach to Promoting Reading across the Curriculum
3.6 Effective Measures to Foster “Reading to Learn”
Teachers and parents should make a joint effort and adopt the following measures to foster Reading to Learn:
3.6.1 Allocating Time for Reading
To help students develop reading interests and a regular reading habit, schools should:
* ensure reading is included in the learning and teaching time allocated for the Chinese Language and English Language lessons. lass and extra-curricular reading can be integrated by organising book clubs during Chinese Language lessons for students to share their reading experiences. As for English Language, up to 40% of the total lesson time can be devoted to Reading Workshops;
* encourage teachers to carry on promoting “Reading to Learn” and “Reading across the Curriculum” in order to expand students’ reading horizons and enhance their in-depth understanding of the texts;
* design flexible and structured time-slots for reading in school time-tables (e.g. arranging reading sessions in the morning, during lunch, after school, during double periods and post-examination periods);
* extend the reading time at school (e.g. arranging reading-related activities in the afternoon sessions); and
* arrange a flexible library schedule based on school needs and the actual situation of the library, so that teachers can take students to the library during lesson time or co-teach with the Teacher-librarian, or students can make use of the relevant resources to engage in meaningful learning activities.
3.6.2 Creating a Favourable Reading Environment and Atmosphere
* Provide a well-equipped library;
* Provide reading corner(s) with comfortable seats and a quiet environment;
* Provide facilities to engage students in e-reading anytime and anywhere;
* Place a wide variety of reading materials in different areas of the school campus, e.g. classrooms, special rooms, student activity rooms, playground, for students and parents to enjoy;
* Display posters, signs, notices, charts, words of wisdom, proverbs, student work, etc. on campus to encourage students to read more;
* Organise theme-based book exhibitions;
* Organise a wide range of reading activities, e.g. storytelling contests, talks by authors and book exhibitions on designated themes or topics;
* Nurture reading ethos through teachers and the School Head acting as role models; and
* Try other innovative ideas, e.g. e-chatroom for sharing on books.
3.6.3 Raising Students’ Reading Motivation and Interest
* Arouse students’ interest in reading. To begin with, they can be given extrinsic rewards like prizes or praises;
* Trigger students’ intrinsic motivation to read by providing them with adequate opportunities to share and exchange their feelings and ideas from the reading process in oral, artistic, written and dramatic forms. Sharing and exchange of ideas can be done on an individual or a group basis, e.g. sharing of reading experience between teachers and students and book chats among students to share the fun of reading;
* Arrange a diversified range of reading activities within and outside class time, e.g. book clubs, thematic reading, visits by authors or book recommendations on the campus TV;
* Select a variety of reading materials to cater for students’ diverse reading interests. For example, as boys tend to prefer texts on popular science while girls tend to favour literary texts, they should be allowed to choose their favourite type of books but at the same time encouraged to read different kinds of books. In addition, choose or recommend appropriate reading materials based on students’ cognitive development;
* Involve students in the selection of library books or the compilation of a list of books they wish the library to procure;
* Train upper primary students to be Reading Ambassadors, who share with the lower primary students their experience in reading and the fun derived from it, so as to develop their sense of responsibility and confidence; and
* Teachers, peers and parents give affirmative and constructive feedback which can raise students’ reading motivation and sustain their drive to read.
3.6.4 Providing a Diversified Range of Appropriate Reading Materials
* Create a text-rich environment with ample materials relevant to the school-based curriculum and appropriate to students' different cognitive levels, language abilities and interests;
* Plan collaboratively and carefully to make good use of reading resources and available funds;
* Set selection criteria with due regard to the quality of texts and choose reading materials that are well-written and of high quality; and
* Choose suitable reading materials based on students’ genders, personalities and life experiences to cater for their different reading needs, so as to enhance their reading confidence, interests and abilities. For example, students can begin with picture books, nursery rhymes, or fairy tales, then move on to bridging books and science stories, and advance to stories with intricate plots and characters or other text types, and further move on to reading materials of a wider range of topics with greater complexity or subject-related content, and of different text types and styles.
For Reflection and Action For Reflection and Action
Some studies (such as "Progress in International Reading Literacy Study") have shown that girls generally outperform boys in reading in Hong Kong. The reason for this is believed to be the lack of due consideration for the choice of reading materials and activities which cater to boys’ interest. Think about whether the same situation applies in your school. If yes, what can you do to improve the boys’ reading performance?
* Allow students to choose reading materials that they like while encouraging them to review and express opinions on the reading materials in terms of quality and usefulness;
* Introduce a variety of reading materials in the classroom, e.g. picture books, bridging books, novels, play scripts, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, to ensure a balance of literary and information-based reading for extending students’ reading horizons; and
* Make the most of web-based reading materials.
3.6.5 Providing Opportunities for Reading Strategy Learning
* Based on the characteristics of different subjects, subject teachers should collaborate to provide students with guidance on reading so as to enable them to master different reading strategies:
  * Students need to reach a certain level of language ability to read effectively. Chinese Language and English Language teachers can collaborate with the Teacher-librarian to teach students general reading strategies in the language lessons and Library Periods, so as to help students conduct information search and understand the content of some general reading texts.
  * Books related to content subjects, e.g. Mathematics, General Studies, often include technical terms and concepts. Students need relevant prior knowledge to enhance reading effectiveness. Content subject teachers should, therefore, equip students with the prior knowledge and related reading strategies.
ExemplarExemplar: Reading-related Learning Goals in Different Subjects
It is the responsibility of teachers to provide students with guidance on reading. Through communication and collaboration, different subjects can set different reading strategies as the learning objectives to help students develop their “Reading to Learn” abilities:
* In Chinese Language and English Language, students can be guided through texts to apply different reading strategies, such as working out the meaning of unfamiliar words, predicting, questioning, and locating key words and topic sentences, and start with “Learning to Read”.
* In Mathematics, teachers can encourage students to read different types of books which illustrate mathematical concepts and tell stories about mathematicians to cultivate their interest in learning mathematics and develop their logical thinking ability.
* In General Studies, students are encouraged to read diversified materials including newspapers, magazines and websites so as to enrich their knowledge and enhance their comprehension skills as well as multi-dimensional thinking skills.
* Create situations for students to reinforce and deepen their application of the reading strategies learnt during the learning process;
* Arrange reading activities through cross-curricular collaboration, so as to enable students to apply the reading strategies learnt in different Key Learning Areas and raise their reading effectiveness; and
* Develop students’ ability to select appropriate reading strategies and strengthen their meta-cognitive awareness.
3.6.6 Making the Most of Technology
* Students need to learn through hands-on experience to apply technology in learning. This includes using information technology and other media to search, retrieve, select, analyse and synthesise information and to express ideas or present what they feel or learn from reading;
* Make the most of e-resources to encourage e-reading; and
* Set up a platform for e-reading and Internet-reading for students, teachers and parents to engage in reading and share their reading experiences and achievements.
3.6.7 Bringing in External Resources
* Engage parents in regular participation in parent-child reading activities;
* Make use of community resources (e.g. inviting experts from tertiary institutions and professional associations/organisations to conduct training workshops for teachers, students and parents or to be a partner in promoting reading on campus); and
* Make use of the wide range of services offered by public libraries, for example, Reading Carnival, Reading Programmes for Children and Youth (including the book report scheme “Stars of the Month”, Creative English Writing Workshop for Children, Parent Reading Workshop and Thematic Storytelling Workshop) and promotional activities on library resources and services.
3.6.8 Strengthening Communication and Building Up a Culture of Collaboration
* Make use of different channels of communication, such as regular sharing sessions on pedagogy and professional development days, to enable all subject teachers to deliberate on the direction for the whole-school approach to the promotion of reading and to build consensus, so as to facilitate planning for collaboration; and
* Understand the content, teaching progress and limitations of different subjects through daily exchanges and conversations to explore the need for and feasibility of collaboration and work out an entry point for cross-curricular collaboration.
3.7 Expectations on Students
Setting reasonable expectations can stimulate students to read to learn and to make improvement in their reading skills, habits and attitudes.
3.7.1 Expected Outcomes for Students
Students may have different starting points in their reading. Yet, with proper guidance and support, they should be expected to progress from a “Beginner” to an “Emergent Reader” and eventually become a “Proficient Reader”.
Beginner Readers Emergent Readers Proficient Readers
Skills and Strategies
"Learning to Read" and "Reading to Learn"
Focus on "Learning to Read"   Focus on "Reading to Learn"
Clues used
Early attempts to use pictorial and grapho-phonic clues for comprehension (English Language in particular)   More integrated use of a variety of clues, including visual, contextual, lexical, syntactic and semantic clues for comprehension
Depth of processing
Reading on the lines (literal reading), Reading between the lines (inferential) and Reading beyond the lines (evaluative), with more emphasis on Reading on the lines   Reading on the lines (literal reading), Reading between the lines (inferential) and Reading beyond the lines (evaluative), with more emphasis on Reading between and beyond the lines
Range of text types
Exposure to a smaller range of text types with simpler content and shorter texts, such as nursery rhymes, stories and fables   Exposure to a wider range of text types, including both fiction and non-fiction of an increasing length and complexity Use of a variety of reading materials, including literary texts, online encyclopedias, newspapers and magazines, signs and technical manuals, etc.
Degree of support from teachers and parents
Reading with guidance and support from teachers and parents (through reading to students and reading with students)   Learning to read independently (i.e. reading by students) with diminishing level of support from teachers and parents and at the same time, adjusting appropriate strategies and pace in response to different reading texts and tasks
Demonstration of learning outcomes
Expressing and sharing of reading experiences in ways that reflect growth in thinking and comprehension
Mainly relaying to the content, e.g. re-telling stories, drawing pictures   Not only relaying to the content, but also explaining concepts and procedures (e.g. giving a summary, conducting a demonstration), evaluating the text (e.g. a book review, commentaries), synthesising ideas (e.g. debate, discussion and forum), and creating ideas (e.g. musical, drama, photo story)
Being able to connect life and knowledge and to express personal feelings towards the content of texts   Being able to connect life experience, learning experience and social or world issues and incidents to form a personal view towards texts
Attitude, Motivation and Habit
Choosing books
Choice of books mainly made by students with guidance from parents and teachers   Choice of books made by students
Reading for praise and rewards   Self-motivated reading with the desire to gain skills and enjoy reading
Participation in reading activities
Participation in reading activities arranged by parents/ teachers   Voluntary participation in a wide variety of quality reading activities
Reading habit
Engagement in reading at designated time   Engagement in reading at all times
Source of reading materials
Reading materials at the more immediate environments of home and school libraries   Use of public libraries, Internet resources and other resources available in the community
Reading span
Reading for a short time span sporadically   Sustained reading on a regular basis
3.7.2 Specific Reading Competencies in Chinese Language Education and English Language Education Key Learning Areas
* In both the Chinese Language and English Language curricula, “Basic Competencies” have been identified in the “reading domain” to describe the reading ability that students should master at the end of Key Stages 1, 2 and 3.
* The Basic Competency Assessment (Territory-wide System Assessment and Student Assessment) has been introduced by the Education Bureau to help schools understand students’ reading levels. “Territory-wide System Assessment” is administered at P3, P6 and S3. Schools can make improvement in learning and teaching with reference to the data on reading in the “Territory-wide System Assessment” reports.
* All schools should help students achieve the level of basic competencies, or standards above, and should provide follow-up help if they do not.
* The EDB has developed the “Learning Progression Framework” as learning and teaching resources based on the Learning Targets and Objectives of the Chinese Language and English Language curricula. The “Learning Progression Framework”, which consists of eight levels of Learning Outcomes, outlines the learning performance (including ability, strategies, interest, attitudes and habit) and progression of students as they work towards the Learning Targets and Objectives set out in the P1 to S6 curriculum in the area of reading for teachers’ reference.
3.7.3 Assessment of Reading Outcomes
Assessment helps inform teachers as to how much students have learnt, and to motivate students to learn when feedback on how to improve is provided. The best way to do the above is to use diverse means to encourage students to reflect on and share their reading experiences with others, for example:
* Ask students to freely retell the main ideas of a text or make predictions about the development of the plot. This enables teachers to assess students' understanding of what they have read as well as their logical thinking and imagination.
* Get students to discuss and share their views about the issues raised in a text and express their own attitudes and values through teacher-student conferences or reading circles. Students can also be asked to complete assignments to demonstrate their abilities to read and process information, and exhibit their learning outcomes.
* Require students to keep reading logs or portfolios, which may contain such items as reading records, reading assignments, reflections, and feedback from teachers, peers and parents. These reading logs enable teachers to find out information about students’ reading habits and progress, and to diagnose their reading problems. They also help the students to review their own learning process.
* Use questionnaires to find out students’ reading habits at school and at home, and their attitudes towards reading.
* Keep records of students’ participation in reading activities. This provides useful information about students’ motivation and interest.
* Examine the class and/or school library loan records, which provide insights into the quantity and types of reading materials borrowed. Students can be asked to give a rating to the materials they have read to indicate their interest and level of understanding.
3.8 Support for Schools
Apart from the suggestions above, the Education Bureau also provides the following to help schools and teachers promote “Reading to Learn”:
* Producing learning and teaching packages for teachers and Teacher-librarians to introduce the use of library services and resources, e.g. activities for promoting reading, information kiosks for school libraries and information on professional development programmes
Curriculum resources and reference materials can be accessed at the EDB “School Library Services” website:
* Organising annual seminars, workshops and sharing sessions for teachers and Teacher-librarians on how to promote reading among students, e.g. Reading Fair
Related information can be accessed at the “Education Bureau - Reading to Learn” website:
* Conducting collaborative research and development (“Seed”) projects on “Reading to Learn” and “Reading across the Curriculum”
* Providing grants for extensive reading in both Chinese and English
* Developing reading pamphlets and booklets for parents to encourage home-school co-operation, and organising district-based seminars to help parents understand the importance of reading and encourage them to conduct parent-child reading as part of early childhood education
* Developing quality reading sharing platforms and providing reading resources in EDB’s “One-stop Portal for Learning & Teaching Resources” through HKEdCity
The “EDB One-stop Portal for Learning & Teaching Resources” website can be accessed at:
1 Chall, J. S. (1996). Stages of Reading Development (2nd ed.).Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt-Brace.
2 "Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2011" Report
Appendix I: Reading across the Curriculum: Collaboration across Subjects
Exemplar 1
Teachers of all subjects in Primary 5 collaboratively set the target reading strategies and techniques for learning. Through implementing Reading across the Curriculum, teachers of different subjects provide students with the opportunities to apply and internalise the reading strategies and skills learnt in the context of their own subjects in order to enhance students’ reading ability:
* Chinese Language: Through the unit on “exposition”, students not only develop strategies for reading expository texts but they also learn reading skills such as skimming, locating topic sentences and self-questioning in order to conduct self-assessment on whether they are able to grasp the main ideas of the text.
* General Studies and Computer Studies: Plenty of learning materials of the two subjects are explanatory texts. After understanding students' progress in learning reading strategies for Chinese Language, teachers encourage students to apply the reading strategies or skills learned to find out the main ideas of the reading materials for discussion during lessons. Teachers then give feedback to language teachers on students’ reading performance in the class.
  Exemplar 1
Appendix I: Reading across the Curriculum: Collaboration across Subjects
Exemplar 2
Teachers of different subjects decide on a common theme "Healthy Life", and implement Reading across the Curriculum in Primary 3:
* Chinese Language: The Chinese Language teachers provide students with guidance on reading picture books and texts related to the theme. Opportunities are provided for students to apply a variety of reading skills and strategies, e.g. working out the meanings of vocabulary used and inferring meaning of the illustrations, as well as to train their thinking skills by guiding them to connect their learning experiences with their personal lives and reflect on whether they have adopted a healthy lifestyle.
* General Studies: The teachers enable students to understand the importance of food hygiene, exercise and rest to health through the unit entitled《健康的我》. The teachers then relate the topic to the picture books students have read to help them cultivate a healthy lifestyle with balanced diets and safe exercise.
* Physical Education: The PE teachers guide students to learn rope skipping to strengthen their cardiovascular system, develop team spirit and practise a healthy lifestyle.
Appendix I: Reading across the Curriculum: Collaboration across Subjects
Exemplar 3
To implement Reading across the Curriculum in connection through project learning:
* Language, General Studies and Mathematics teachers collaborate and develop a project with the theme "Love the Earth". According to the needs of the project, learning objectives are identified in each subject as teaching focus for lessons. Then, students formulate in groups a study plan based on the sub-theme they set, e.g. “Solving Global Warming”. They apply various online reading strategies such as skimming, viewing, comparing and using hyperlinks, and read texts of different text types such as science books, newspapers and webpages. Students use illustrated guidebooks and encyclopedia to find out the meaning of technical terms. Students also divide the tasks among themselves and study the webpages on “global warming” under their charge. They connect the new knowledge with their prior knowledge and reading experience, select appropriate information and design a questionnaire based on the books they read. They collect, organise and analyse the data and work out the causes of global warming, its dangers and possible solutions. Students present the results through board displays or a report.
* While students are engaged in project learning, the Teacher-librarian is responsible for providing relevant support and resources, e.g. organising a thematic reading month related to Earth resources, global warming, greenhouse effect, and book exhibitions on related topics to encourage students to borrow books and create a reading atmosphere in school.
Appendix II: An Exemplar on Promoting Reading across the Curriculum in School
School Background:
The school
* actively promotes reading, and has successfully established a good reading atmosphere
* has experience in curriculum adaptation
* has a collaborative culture among teachers
* sets “Understanding the local history, developing reading strategies and cultivating interest in reading” as the school’s major concerns
Grade: Primary 4
Topic: Hong Kong Customs
Goals: To promote Reading across the Curriculum in support of the school’s major concerns:
* To enhance students’ interest in and expand their reading horizons through reading texts related to the historical development of and life in Hong Kong
* To enable students to apply reading strategies such as summarising, inferencing, integrating and reasoning inductively to enhance their capabilities in reading information texts through “Reading across the Curriculum”
* To develop in students a better understanding of the historical development and characteristics of life in Hong Kong, and to enhance their awareness of conservation of local culture
Collaborating subjects: Chinese Language, General Studies, Computer Studies, Library
Duties and Roles of Primary School Curriculum Leaders and Teachers of Various Subjects:
* Primary School Curriculum Leaders:
  * arrange meetings on Reading across the Curriculum for different subjects;
  * align the schemes of work for different subjects, as well as adapt and coordinate their learning content and activities on reading; and
  * prepare and arrange the co-curricular activities on "Hong Kong Customs".
* Chinese Language teachers:
  * guide students to read articles such as 《彌敦道名字的由來》and《漁港風情》so that they can understand the features of expository writing and identify the main ideas by applying the reading strategies of locating keywords, key sentences and topic sentences, and summarising the main idea of the text;
  * guide students to read newspaper clippings about Hong Kong history and culture such as 《永利街保育》and 《再見菜園村》to deepen their understanding of the topic and allow them to apply the reading strategies learned; and
  * organise reading circles and ask students to read books related to the theme such as 《香港故事》and《濃濃淡淡港灣情》 so that they can enjoy the fun of sharing books.
* General Studies teachers:
  * organise a talk on “Tai O Stilt Houses” to arouse students’ interest in the local history and culture of Hong Kong;
  * show students the local village life and early urban life through reading articles such as 《大澳棚屋》、《新界鄉村尋情》、《九龍寨城》; and
  * teach students to integrate what they have learnt in different subjects for project learning, and cultivate their awareness of conservation of the local culture.
* Computer Studies teachers:
  * equip students with the skills of browsing webpages and downloading information through online reading materials like "圍村軌跡" and "三棟屋博物館";
  * teach students to select relevant information according to the reading objectives and needs, and to organise and summarise the information collected appropriately; and
  * guide students to produce PowerPoint slides for presentation.
* Teacher-librarian:
  * purchases new books and resources on the related themes;
  * composes a reading handbook on "Hong Kong Customs" and provide different subjects with book titles such as 《香港老地方見》 and 《香港掌故》 to encourage students to read more for themselves; and
  * organises book fairs with "Hong Kong Customs" as the theme, produce display boards and hold quizzes to enhance students' motivation and interest in reading.
Learning Outcomes
* Broadening the scope and increasing the amount of reading: Students read plenty of articles, books, press releases and booklets about "Hong Kong Customs" through different channels and media. This not only expands students’ reading horizons and increases their amount of reading, but also extends their interest in reading and developed their self-learning ability.
* Improving reading ability: Students could apply their knowledge and strategies learned from different subjects in project learning. For example, they are able to select useful information according to the task requirements, make appropriate adaptation and summary, and present the learning outcomes in a vivid and succinct way through PowerPoint and oral presentations.
* Understanding and caring about the local history and culture: Students have a better understanding of Hong Kong's historical development and cultural characteristics through the various reading materials and learning activities of different subjects. Their awareness of heritage and cultural conservation is also raised.
Appendix III: Setting Up a Collaborative Mechanism for Reading across the Curriculum
Exemplar 1: A Top-down Approach to Promoting Reading across the Curriculum
Current Collaborative Situation:
* The School Head, Deputy Head, Primary School Curriculum Leader, subject panel chairpersons and Teacher-librarian deliberate on the goals and themes of Reading across the Curriculum based on the school’s major concerns.
  * Goals: To develop students' reading interests and ability, help them build up positive values and attitudes and consolidate their positive outlook on life
  * Theme: Living a Colourful Life
  * Sub-themes:
      P1: A Happy Campus
      P2: Care for Myself and Others
      P3: Snapshots of Growing Up
      P4: The Changing Me
      P5: On the Road to Adolescence
      P6: A Passion for Life
* Based on their own characteristics, each subject provides details on the subject-based reading schemes, including the learning content, related reading strategies, activities, resources and support needed.
* The Primary Curriculum Leader coordinates and discusses with the different subject departments and formulates a detailed implementation plan, which includes the implementation date, subjects to be involved, reading activities and evaluation plan.
* The Teacher-librarian play a supporting and coordinating role, including:
  * setting a theme-based reading month, providing books and reference materials related to the theme;
  * designing reading activities for whole-school participation, designing appropriate extensive reading schemes for each year level; and
  * training parent volunteers to become Reading Ambassadors, instructing students on reading and study skills.
* When implementing the Scheme, the subject teachers make adjustments to the learning and teaching content and progress based on students’ learning performance and communicate with other teachers in order to better understand students' progression in learning.
* The curriculum development team communicates with the teachers regularly, provides coordination and support when necessary, and reviews the effectiveness of various activities through teacher and student interviews, questionnaires and student work.
Special Features:
* Top-down: The School Head, Deputy Head and curriculum leaders first formulate the goals and themes of Reading across the Curriculum. This is then followed by detailed proposals by the different subject departments.
* Whole-school participation: The School Head and all teachers and students take part in it.
* Communication and collaboration: Subject teachers communicate with one another regularly and the curriculum development team provides coordination and support.
* Reflection and review: The School Head, the Deputy Head, and the curriculum development team are responsible for monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the activities.
Appendix III: Setting Up a Collaborative Mechanism for Reading across the Curriculum
Exemplar 2: A Bottom-up Approach to Promoting Reading across the Curriculum
Current Collaborative Situation:
* The teachers realise that the learning contents of some subjects in P2 are related in some way. In order to raise the learning and teaching effectiveness, they propose organising activities for Reading across the Curriculum on the theme "Getting Close to Nature".
* The teachers’ proposal is taken on board. The Primary School Curriculum Leader and the subject panel chairpersons then deliberate on the details.
* The following subject departments agree to take part in the Reading across the Curriculum activities and decide on the learning contents and collaboration focus:
  * Chinese Language: "I Love Nature" - To guide students to use reading strategies such as locating key words, topic sentences and understanding the author's love for nature
  * General Studies: "Good Spots for a Stroll in the Countryside" - To help students develop the values of treasuring resources and loving the environment
  * Visual Arts: "A Collage: the Fun of Stroll in the Countryside" - To guide students to make the most of waste to produce a collage
* The Primary School Curriculum Leader gives full support to the implementation of the above-mentioned activities through flexible allocation of resources as manifested in time-tabling, staff deployment, book purchases.
* The Teacher-librarian provides support, e.g. making suggestions on reading materials, purchasing books, organising theme-based book exhibitions.
* The teachers of the various subjects mentioned above provide students with guidance on reading and learning, and help them construct knowledge and develop their communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking skills.
* The Primary School Curriculum Leader, all subject panel chairpersons and the Teacher-librarian review the effectiveness of the scheme and consider how to improve it.
* The teachers agree to gradually expand the scale of the activities for Reading across the Curriculum:
  * Vertical expansion: To consider activities for Reading across the Curriculum at more year levels
  * Horizontal expansion: To promote more cross-subject collaboration at each year level
Special Features:
* A bottom-up approach: The teachers take the initiative in proposing the implementation of activities for Reading across the Curriculum, and the School Head take on board the proposal. The details of the scheme are then deliberated on by the different subject departments.
* Designating a year level for the tryout: The school chooses P2 for the tryout and involves the subjects of Chinese Language, General Studies and Visual Arts
* Empowering teachers: The school empowers the teachers to develop the school-based curriculum and provide them with additional support through administrative arrangements and resource allocation.
* Sustainable development: Learning from experience, the teachers promote Reading across the Curriculum both vertically and horizontally within the school.
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EDB:Reading to Learn
EDB:Parents-child Reading is Fun - For Parents of the 0-9-year-olds
EDB:Parents-child Reading is Fun - For Parents of the 0-3-year-olds
EDB:Parents-child Reading is Fun - For Parents of the 3-6-year-olds
EDB:Parents-child Reading is Fun- For Parents of the 6-9-year-olds
EDB:School Library Services
EDB One-stop Portal for Learning & Teaching Resources
Programme for International Student Assessment Hong Kong Centre:“Programme for International Student Assessment”
OCED: Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2011): IEA International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement: PIRLS 2011