I was in a local shopping centre yesterday when I came across an almost empty bookshelf which had some books on it for people to exchange and enjoy:
Here is another public book exchange spot in a park in Germany:
Research tells us that extensive reading is an important aspect in foreign language acquisition. As a member of a research team working on this question at the moment, I am particularly interested in this. I am currently undertaking a social project with some of my university students. The majority of these learners have not grown up in a public library system but they want to read. They had said to me that if the library was more like a book store they might go into it, but they would like to be able to access books outside of this place. The ideas that we have come up with in collaboration so far with the learners to increase their reading habits are:
- A Late night drop of books (each with a code) so that when people wake up in the morning they find random books, they type in the code and can follow the book on Facebook. When they have finished they announce it on Facebook and explain where they have left it so someone else can find it and pick it up.
- A monthly book exchange where people meet and bring a book to exchange in a popular coffee shop where university students hang out.
- Covering the walls of the language department with print on interesting topics.
We would love to hear of any other ideas you have had or are currently involved in, to increase reading exposure outside of a classroom setting. We look forward to your responses.