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Between the Lines: Reading to children improves their cognitive abilities


Last summer, the American Academy of Paediatrics issued a new policy statement for its members, recommending that paediatricians advise parents of young children about the importance of breastfeeding, vaccinating and reading aloud. Until that moment, reading to children was just another fun and enriching educational experience, on par with playing in the park and attending […]

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Between the Lines: Discussing books with children improves their creative writing skills

Reading Together

“Why is Goodnight Moon such a big deal?” my friend asked me. The classic story by Margaret Wise Brown doesn’t seem that notable on first glance: a slightly off-putting colour scheme depicting a story without any exciting plotlines or humorous developments. I urged her and her young child to give the picture book another try, and pointed […]

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Between the Lines: The joys of letter writing


  I have fond memories of writing many letters to many people in my youth. In fact, cherished relationships were built and strengthened through letters. In Year 10, a friend wrote a one-page Arthurian story with characters that mirrored our circle of friends and passed it to me to read. I continued the story by […]

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Between the Lines: Set healthy limits on tech use


Most families in Hong Kong live in apartments and have very limited access to outdoor space.   Add to that crowds and an air pollution index (API) that is currently at the maximum measurable level, and taking children outside to connect with nature and to move has its own challenges and dangers.  In urban areas […]

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Between the Lines: Sustained silent reading can improve literacy


    My daughter and her kindergarten buddies are adjusting well to Grade One and life in a “big kids’ school”. They are learning new skills to develop their independence and self-reliance. The most conspicuous changes from kindergarten are that these children no longer have teachers to remind them to wash their hands before lunch, or […]

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Between the lines: Why dads should read to their sons


Oscar nominees gather for annual luncheon Beverly hills more than 150 oscar nominees gathered at a beverly hills hotel on monday to celebrate the joy of just being nominated. Honorees in all 24 of this year’s oscar categories from hairstylists to a listers turned out for the academy of motion picture arts and sciences annual […]

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Between the lines: teach your child to celebrate being different


  I recently had coffee with friends who were emigrating to a small town in Australia. Aside from envying how the idyllic environment would influence the positive growth of their young child, we also pondered what it would be like for a Chinese child to grow up in a community where he would be the […]

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Between the lines: The joy of book series


I am an advocate for parent-child reading, so my children are in the habit of bringing books to grown-ups for them to read out loud. In the past year, my eldest daughter has started to take books from our bookshelf and read the words silently to herself. And then one day, I heard her reading […]

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Between the Lines: Summer break is a reader’s delight (SCMP, by Percie Wong)


Research consistently shows that we improve in literacy by doing large amounts of interesting reading for pleasure.  This is often not possible during the school year, because of the pressure of school-work and exams. Summer reading is the perfect time to catch up on this. In her inaugural column for SCMP, BMABHK trainer Percie Wong […]

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