Vital for children to read English books, says British High Commissioner

KOTA KINABALU: It is important to encourage the children to love reading English books as it will improve both their literacy and intellectual development.

English is truly the world’s language and it belongs to the world, said the British High Commissioner, His Excellency Simon Featherstone during the launching ceremony of ‘Power of Reading’ programme of English Language Teacher Development Project (ELTDP) in SK Pulau Gaya yesterday.

According to Simon, The British Council’s ‘Power of Reading’ project has now donated over 30,000 high quality English picture books to schools in East Malaysia.

“I’m pleased to be able to bring the last batch of the 1,600 high quality English story books which are part of a huge donation by the British Council to SK Pulau Gaya.

“Reading English story books are crucial part of English language acquisition and the teachers can use the books to support all the students in developing their reading skills.

In Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, the British Council is working on behalf of the Ministry to provide mentoring and coaching to well over a thousand teachers of English in over 500 schools.

This particular programme supports those teachers in developing their own reflective practice so that they are able to take ownership of their own professional development both for them and in the classroom.

According to Simon, a recent independent evaluation of the project indicated that there is a growing body of evidence based on observations from mentors, teachers, head teachers and language officers.

“The use of English in and outside of the classroom had increased as a result of the project,” Simon said.

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