Learn how to read with Donald Duck
A school in Rotterdam has decided to give their younger pupils a free subscription to the Dutch weekly Donald Duck to help them with their reading and with expanding their vocabulary. The idea for this initiative came from Marcel Dela Haije, Rotterdam’s security officer. He discovered that his children had quite a sizeable vocabulary at a very young age, which he attributed to the magazine.
Donald Duck is one of the most successful magazines in the Netherlands. It’s been running for sixty four years straight and even though it no longer has typical print runs of 400,000 copies it once had, it still outsells nearly every publication in the market. More importantly, though, the magazine has been able to maintain a certain style in its storytelling and indeed, its choice of words, that parents recognise when they read the magazine.
Earlier a similar story was reported about a a young immigrant who, after only having been in the Netherlands for around three and a half years, got a maximum of five hundred and fifty points on his CITO test (the standarized test used in the Netherlands to help determine which school fits children best after primary school). According to Mrwan and his tutor, this was largely thanks to Donald Duck magazine, which consistently uses correct language but also provides fun. And since they’re comics, you can also see what happens, and quickly deduce what’s being said. It is no surprise to us that comics can encourage reading and learning among youngsters, but it is always good to see educators embracing those ideas.