28 June, 2024

What is the importance of reading in Vietnam’s increasingly digital world?

In a world where a video can go viral in seconds, and with audiovisual becoming more and more popular, what role does reading play?
With a culture fast becoming saturated with audio and visual in Vietnam, children at Nord Anglia Education’s British International School Hanoi (BIS Hanoi) are learning why reading is important.

Head of English at BIS Hanoi Simon Hoare said critical thinking skills will be just one of the benefits of reading that students who read will graduate with. With the exciting evolution of artificial intelligence (AI), the ability to think critically continues to be one of the most valuable skills to have in Vietnam’s dynamic future. 

“The benefits of reading go far beyond it just being a medium for receiving and understanding new information. Even though students may interact with a more diverse selection of media forms in the future, the ability to process information, assimilate ideas and develop their own view is learned through reading at school,” said Simon. “Being exposed to a wide range of texts, encompassing different cultures and perspectives is vital for young people who will be required to interact, work and study with people from all over the world. It provides a valuable opportunity to develop social cohesion and understanding.”

According to research by Pearson Education, children that read “develop a broader vocabulary, increase their general knowledge and have improved mental health. Reading [also] has a positive impact on the development of language, improving writing, comprehension and listening skills”.

British international school Hanoi Primary students reading together

From this research, the question ‘why is reading important’ can be summarised in five key areas. 

  1. Reading is an essential part of learning in a child’s development. Reading opens up new worlds and develops imagination. Children can visualise stories and concepts in their minds, which fuels creativity, problem-solving skills and innovation.
  2. Reading improves literacy skills, language and vocabulary. In an increasingly globalised world, strong language skills are essential for good communication in a variety of career paths, as well as personal and professional relationships. 
  3. Reading can teach children about the world around them, introducing them to new places, personalities, challenges and cultures. When children grow into young adults, they’ll have deeper insights into the importance of reading - a greater understanding of other cultures, as well as empathy for all kinds of people. 
  4. Reading regularly helps children develop the essential skills they’ll need for life. The written word allows children to explore their own thoughts, and understand concepts and subjects on a more comprehensive level. 
  5. The more children read, the better they’ll become and the more they’ll enjoy it. Being able to read gives children access to whole libraries of knowledge, perspectives and insights. From literature and educational resources, to research, news articles and blogs, reading can support lifelong learning and growth.

Due to many benefits of reading that exist well beyond the classroom, it’s still strong in the curriculum at Nord Anglia Education’s British International School Hanoi.

“We know that there are tremendous opportunities for students who read for pleasure; research has reading to be a key predictor of academic success, not only in English, but also in other subjects including maths,” said Simon, BIS Hanoi’s Head of English. “There’s also research to suggest that children who read are more likely to lead a healthier lifestyle, have better social skills, and a higher self-esteem and happier mindset

“Parents are often curious about the importance of reading in this digital world, and the piece of advice I most often give to them is to support their child’s reading, as this will not only have the greatest impact on their child’s achievements in life, but also on their overall wellbeing.”