As a 6th grade English teacher of EAL (English as an Additional Language) students, I am always looking for ways to encourage my students to read novels written in English. After my class visited the Emirates Festival of Literature to hear junior fiction novelist Jacqueline Wilson speak, my struggling readers picked up her novels and read them cover to cover.
This experience not only got my students interested in reading age appropriate novels, but provoked random discussions about literature amongst them. In addition, both their confidence in their ability to read was enhanced and their desire to read other authors and genres grew as well.
The dynamics of my classroom changed as my students were able to gain a personal connection with literature and the realization of the importance of literature due to their visit to the festival.
- Alison Burrows, Grade 6 Teacher, American Academy in Al Mizhar
Education Day is a key element of the Emirates Festival of Literature in which authors hold free sessions for schoolchildren and university students from across the UAE. From its inception in 2009, Education Day has brought students and authors together in ever increasing numbers – to the extent that it is now actually held over two days!
The principle behind Education Day is that coming face-to-face with authors fuels a lifelong love of words in children, inspiring them to embrace reading and writing. What we have also discovered is that the authors themselves – particularly those not used to addressing young people – find it an educational experience as well!
Details of the Education Programme for 2014 will be announced soon.