x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Nurture reading, because it is vital to development

A reader regrets the fact that a promising Bollywood action picture is not offered with English subtitles. Other letter topics: the importance of reading, classroom gadgetry, what constitutes racism, and coupon woes.

A reader complains that the film Don 2 is not offered with English subtitles. Courtesy Excel Entertainment
A reader complains that the film Don 2 is not offered with English subtitles. Courtesy Excel Entertainment

The lack of children's interest in reading must be blamed on the parents (Gadgets beating out books, December 21).

Children's values are shaped primarily by their parents so that the interest in reading begins at home. But one of the root causes is that most of the adults have not completed high school and so what they don't know they can't teach.

I don't believe these families should be caught in a vicious circle of illiteracy. When we compare the literacy rate among children in developed nations, there is a positive correlation between parents that have completed higher levels of education and the child's ability to read. But what could be done to encourage children to read?

One simple measure could be to read to your children every night before bed. I have found that reading books with subject matters that interest the child helps to motivate them.

Reading should be a fun process and purchasing toys, such as Lego, could encourage reading. My son loves Lego and his ability to construct the models requires him to read and understand the instructions.

My daughter always wants to help in the kitchen so I have her read the recipe of her favourite dish.

Reading and the wider subject of literacy is critical for growth of a child and therefore it is our responsibility of us as parents to lead the process.

Randall Mohammed, Dubai

Ban on gadgets in class is useful

This is long overdue (Sharjah reinforces school tech ban, December 20). There is a suitable time and place for using these gadgets.

In Europe, mobile phones and similar items are not allowed to be brought into the class. It makes children heavily dependent on technology and stifles natural growth. It's not enough to encourage children to refrain from using them, they'll always opt for game.

The use of high-tech gadgets in classrooms should be controlled by teachers and not by some expert with little or no teaching experience. Anyone arguing for mobile phone or iPad in all classes is out of touch with reality.

JB, UK

Provide English subtitles for Don 2

I refer to the article In Cinemas: Shah Rukh Khan shines in Don 2 (December 28).

It would be nice if a theatre or two decided to show this film with English subtitles.

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Readers disagree over 'racist' ad

I agree that the restaurant ad was in bad taste (Chinese restaurant ad causes controversy, December 23).

There must be a better way to advertise than by pointing out that Chinese people have different shaped eyes.

It seems kind of childish.

AW, Ras Al Khaimah

I would like to respond to John Watson, who wrote the letter Don't be so quick to cry racism (December 27).

I say to him that I hope people from the 48 countries that make up Asia (including the UAE) do not take offence so easily at his comments.

I do agree with him though that people need to lighten up about remarks that others could, in their own opinion, consider to be racist or ignorant. I find the Vietnamese the least tolerant of such comments.

Quang Nguyen, Dubai

Media standards must be fostered

Taryam al Subaihi's article The taint of bribes in the media still corrupts coverage (November 6) raises a very important issue.

The story about the writer's father finding a wad of cash between the pages of a book he received from a visiting official - and later returned through a gift - is interesting.

That story added a deep dimension of how things used to be before the media industry got polluted, and money came before ethics. Well written.

Name withheld by request

Rental company ignores problems

I would like to add a positive note on Complaints pile up as Groupon fails to deliver (December 29).

At least they are not deleting most negative messages from the company's Facebook site, unlike a vehicle rental and leasing company in the UAE which I used.

After charging for unjustified traffic fines, the company deleted all my comments from their Facebook page. I tried to re-post it 50 times until they blocked me.

As for Groupon, this is symptomatic of the lack of passion and cohesive team that the entire Groupon International organisation suffers, which is different in organisational and management structure as Groupon Inc.

Yvette Romero, Abu Dhabi