Becoming a global citizen by reading books
Books allow us to explore new worlds, sample diverse cultures, and gain an understanding of how other people live. We have all experienced the feeling of being transported to a far-away land, while reading a book. These experiences of discovering how other people live, and the social issues they face through reading non-fiction books, and learning about relationships and culture through stories from around the world, helps us develop a robust understanding about how the world works, and the diversity of experiences of people from different countries, religions, cultures, and races.
To become global citizens, we need to be engaging with literature from around the world. As our world becomes more connected and globalised through the rise of the Internet and digital communication, it’s easier than ever to learn about cultures and people from around the globe. This blog outlines 4 benefits of reading to become a global citizen.
1. Developing Empathy & Gratitude
Reading books helps us to develop a greater sense of appreciation for what we have, while learning about the struggles, social issues, and disparities that people from different countries and backgrounds face. Learning about the limited access to education that some children encounter, or the daily struggle for food, water, and clothing, helps children to cultivate empathy for those who have less than them.
It can be hard to motivate children to read or study when there are more appealing ways to spend their time. Helping kids to understand that access to education, books, computers and other learning materials, are not luxuries that every child has, can increase their gratitude for the education that they have. Reading books about education and life around the world, or how other children live, from the palaces of Europe, to the slums in Mumbai, can help children to see beyond their own experiences, and be grateful for the opportunities that they have.
2. Gaining a deeper understanding of the world
Reading books allows us to travel the world from the comfort of our favourite reading nook. Helping children select a range of books, that includes their personal favourites, more challenging titles, as well as educational books that support their schooling and go beyond it, allows young readers to gain a deeper understanding of the world. Reading books about foreign cultures, ancient civilizations, religion, and customs, provokes children to become curious about how other people live, while broadening their perspectives.
3. More extensive vocabulary and awareness of other languages
We know that reading improves spelling and vocabulary. Reading books about other countries or cultures broadens our exposure to new words. By reading books by a diverse range of authors, we end up learning new words, old words (which were used in different time periods), and snippets of different languages. Over time, we develop a rich and varied vocabulary that becomes an asset which can help with our own writing.
4. Better collaboration skills
Learning about the world through reading allows us to understand that everyone is different, and we all have different strengths, that can be utilised to achieve the best outcomes. When we enter into interactions with an open-mind and empathy for others, we are able to find solutions and solve problems. Learning about different peoples and cultures helps us to understand that there are many ways to do things, and how we do things, is not the only way, or even the best way. Gaining a global education makes us better global citizens, and better collaborators at school, at home, at work, and in life.
Every time we read a book or story by someone with a different perspective than ours, we open our minds a little more. Over our lifetimes, we learn about the world around us, and if we are lucky, what we learn rubs off on us. Starting this journey early in life helps us to become more aware of others, and supports us in fostering understanding, empathy, and gratitude.
At NumberWorks’nWords, literacy skills and knowledge are fundamental to our English tuition. We strive to help children develop a passion for reading, while building confidence, and achieving their best academic results. To learn more about how NumberWorks’nWords tuition may help your child, or why kids love learning in our tuition centres, get in touch with your local centre today.