Recommended Reading: 13-year-old Aren gives his impressions of An Inspector Calls
The Kumon English Programme aims to foster in students an enjoyment and love of reading, alongside the development of strong comprehension skills.
Book extracts on the English worksheets, rather than for purely study purposes, are aimed at sparking students' interest so they are motivated to read the rest of the text in their own time.
However, the main tool for inspiring reading in Kumon instruction is the Recommended Reading List (RRL), which contains over 380 book recommendations from a wide range of genres and styles, for students of all abilities and ages.
The books are divided into 12 sections, broadly corresponding to the levels of the English programme. Like the Kumon worksheets, the RRL is designed so that each student can start reading books at a comfortable level and progress, step by step, to those that are more difficult. Students are also encouraged to read several titles from the level above the one they are studying, so they are given a gentle introduction to the literary elements of this higher level and its texts.
One student who did just this was 13-year-old Aren, an English student at the Kumon Rush Green Study Centre.
In preparation for beginning study on level L, the final level of the English programme, where he'd be studying and critiquing literary features of advanced-level texts, Aren decided to read J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls, a text which features on these higher worksheets.
Having thoroughly enjoyed reading the text, Aren put together a book review. Here are some excerpts of his book review:
An Inspector Calls, a play written by J.B. Priestly, is about how the wealthy Birling family get caught up in Inspector Goole's investigation into the suicide of Eva Smith a young, working class girl. With the author's use of dramatic irony greatening the suspense, mystery and melancholy, we find out if the Birling's really are responsible for the struggles and secrets Eva Smith kept and ultimately her sudden death, and most importantly, is the 'Eva Smith' they know different from the one being investigated?
Its mysterious feel, combined with the dramatic effect the author adds with the subtle setting and lighting hints, makes it one of the great classics. The storyline really has an intriguing sense of shock, surprise and excitement. The gripping plot is unique in the way that each act allows us to learn many different attributes of the characters. All these elements mixed together make An Inspector Calls a text well loved by many.
We thank Aren for sharing his review with us; it is always wonderful to hear such passion from our students and see their skills in practice.
Aren will very soon complete the English programme, and once he does he is keen to resume study on the maths programme. He also plans to spend time this summer volunteering at the centre as a reading assistant, helping younger students develop strong reading skills, just as he has.
We wish Aren all the best as he continues his Kumon study.