Parent reading to kids

Gerry Fox

“I learned a lot of things through the project. I did improve my language. I know how to talk to parents. Because when we attended the workshop for teachers, they taught us how to approach the parents and have better communication with our parents. We changed our way of teaching also. We use more songs, story telling. And we also use the storybooks given by British Council in our classes. The students love the way I teach” Komathi, teacher from SKJ(T) Lorong Java

In 2009, the Malaysian Ministry of Education began the transformation of the national primary curriculum to focus more on early literacy. To support the MoE with this change, the British Council funded by HSBC, designed and delivered a project, LearnEnglish Family.

The British Council ran a series of workshops with teachers and parents from 10 primary schools in two states. The workshops developed teachers’ and parents’ skills and confidence in sharing books with children and highlighted the importance of parents and schools working together to support students’ reading. Teachers and parents then planned small classroom based reading projects that they would jointly run over the course of 5 months.

With books supplied by Scholastic, teachers and parents started working together to coordinate their projects. Parents formed committees and planned events such as story-telling sessions and sing-alongs. By working together teachers and parents were able to plan projects that supported what children were learning in the classroom.

At the end of the pilot, the British Council engaged a consultant from the National Literacy Trust, UK to review the programme and make recommendations for a nation-wide rollout in primary schools. This has resulted in the production of a DVD and handbook by the British Council for parents and/or teachers who would like to run the programme in their schools. This handbook has been sent to all Malaysian primary schools.

If you would like to know more, please contact Caspar Mays at +603-2723 7935 or