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Tan Kim Hock
Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

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What one misses out on by not reading newspapers

The Straits Times | Tan Kim Hock | Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

Pupils of Temasek Primary school in a reading activity organised as part of the Little Red Dot Maritime Reading Passport. Reading the newspapers daily provides us a treasure trove of real-world knowledge which expands our thought and perspectives.

SINGAPORE - I read with disbelief Dr V. Subramaniam's letter ("Teachers should read newspapers"; last Thursday) on two secondary school teachers of English and literature who told him they did not read newspapers.

While he did not state their reasons, I guess these teachers must be quite young and IT-savvy. Their daily reading diet would probably consist of material culled from the Internet and accessed through smartphones and tablet computers.

Indeed, not reading newspapers, especially The Straits Times, deprives one of a treasure trove of information not easily available elsewhere.

As Dr Subramaniam pointed out, newspapers contain an abundance of useful material from the "real world" that teachers can use.

Well-known thinkers, academics and experts in various fields often contribute articles to The Straits Times. They include Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Professor Tommy Koh, senior writer Andy Ho and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman.

Their articles can be used as a starting point for discussions on issues directly affecting our daily lives and our long-term future.

Reading them will raise the maturity level of students and also improve their English. So I agree with Dr Subramaniam that teachers should read newspapers and use the contents for teaching purposes.

Students should also not confine themselves to reading only English-language newspapers. Chinese students should also read Lianhe Zaobao and compare the way different newspapers cover the same issue. The same applies to students who are learning Malay and Tamil.


This article was first published on MONTH DAY, 2014.
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