The capacity to read a wide range of materials in a variety of situations is an essential skill if young people are to participate in our society. Your teenager will be developing communication skills that allow them to express themselves, define their goals and interact in an ever-increasing range of groups and organisations within the wider community.
Here are some activities that you may find useful as you help your teenager to read confidently for a wide range of purposes:
- encourage the reading of a variety of materials about their areas of interest, for example, music reviews, websites about favourite bands, details of concerts — understand that their choices may be very different from your own
- encourage the viewing of a range of electronic materials on topics of interest, for example, websites — discuss which are valuable and which could be misleading
- encourage the reading of a range of visual texts such as diagrams, tables, graphs, photos, cartoons, comics
- read some of the same books and discuss characters, storylines and themes
- share your thoughts on both what you are currently reading and what you were reading at a similar age
- encourage reflection on the materials that are being read, for example, What do you think of the way that the character was portrayed? How does that reading material/television program compare to other things you have read/viewed on that topic?
- encourage your English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) learner, if they are new to English, to continue reading in their first language, if this is possible, while they are learning to read in English
- look together at numerical information, for example, statistics and data in newspapers, and think critically about the author's purpose
- encourage them to use a search engine to find/read good examples of texts that they may need to write, for example a resume and a letter of introduction when applying for part-time jobs
- share pro formas that are common in the workplace and wider community such as an application for a bank account or to join a gym or a tax file application form
- show with them how to use internet banking or purchase tickets online
- share procedures and paperwork for paying household bills such as telephone, electricity and rates — explain what a budget might look like using the MoneySmart website
- read career materials with your child as you help them develop and implement their Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan.
Find ideas on what books are age-appropriate for your teen.