The following blog gives a taste of one of the Reading for Enjoyment sessions that we run with False Bay College students at the Khayelitsha and Fish Hoek campuses. The campaign aims to get students excited about reading (and writing) for pleasure. Here’s facilitator Sonja Kruse’s recounting of a session that got students hooked on reading!
It was the last Reading for Enjoyment session at False Bay College Khayelitsha for this term. I had to be smart about the content because these busy students need every encouragement to read during the holidays!
I decided on The Village Girl by FunDza Fanz writer, Victoria Ntuli, because it is a play the students could select parts to read out loud, perfect for getting them hooked!
We projected the mobi site in the class and students volunteered to read. Some were reluctant whilst others were fighting to play the part they wanted! It was great. Some students decided to read from their phones via our FunDzApp app or the fundza.mobi site on FreeBasics. Along with doing the reading, some cast members decided to act it out – crying and laughing as the characters required.
One person whispered the character, Xoli’s words: “Shh, you’re shouting, the other girls will hear you. I know. I know you will come out of here no longer a virgin, but it’s better than coming out of here being a drug addict. I beg you. Behave yourself today.”
There was an intake of breath and the students looked from the projected text to me. I could feel them willing me to click the ‘next’ button on the bottom right of the screen so that they could carry on with the play reading and find out what happens next. But instead I ask them to focus on the discussion question at the end of Chapter 3.
Tell us: Do you trust Xoli? Do you think Lizzy will ever escape?
The students answered quickly with a ‘no’ to the first question and there was a mixture of opinions on whether Lizzy will escape or not. But today the students were not interested in a debate or a discussion… they were shouting out…
“Next, please Ms!”
I looked at my watch. There were eight minutes left in the session before the bell went. They continued reading. We had four more lines to read before we heard the shrill interruption. The students were impatient with having to pause during the bell, but continued as if there were no next class to run to. They remained seated even after we reached the cliffhanging end of Chapter 4.
“Ms, can’t we have FunDza all day?” one student asked.
Magic words! I thanked the students for their participation, wishing them happy holidays. And I asked them what they thought my advise to them would be to make the best of their break.
This came from a student who was doing just that. She had started reading Chapter 5 as she was making her way to the next class.
Yes, I mumbled to myself. I think students will be reading this holiday.