I really liked this idea because I am a strong believer in helping students become more autonomous in language learning. In fact, my Master's thesis in Linguistics was about autonomy, language learning strategies, and computer assisted language learning.
As my school provides funding to buy great resources for our classrooms, I ordered lots of photostories books for adults from Grass Roots Press. They have a great selection of books on various topics including romance, humour, health, and others. I keep all these books in two baskets so my students have easy access to them in our classroom.
I leave the lists on the bookshelf so each student is responsible for choosing a book, copying its title, writing the date, and writing yes or no to say if they liked the book.
I told them they could read books if they finished a task or activity early, and during breaks or lunch time. I also told them that, if they wanted to learn a language, reading books was extremely important. They could learn new vocabulary, spelling, and much more.
In the end of the term, we had a reading assessment about the books and the students answered questions about the number of books they read, their favourite ones, their least favourite ones, some characters, words, and sentences they learned, and anything else they wanted to share. My coordinator also gave me the idea of asking them to draw a poster about their favourite character and talk about them.
All the students really enjoyed this experience of reading books and learning English with them. I was very happy when I saw that some students read more than 20 books in 18 weeks! As the results were very positive, I plan to continue with this activity.
Do you encourage your students to read too? What do you do?