Principle For Teaching Reading Skills

1.        In an integrated course, don’t overlook a specific focus on reading skill.

ESL students who are literate in their own language sometimes are left to their own devices when it comes to learning reading skills. We often assume that they will learn good reading simply by absorption through generous offering of extensive reading opportunities. In reality, there is much to be gained by your focusing on reading skill.

2.        Use techniques that are instrisically motivating

One popular and intrinsically motivating approach to reading instruction is the Language Experience Approach (LEA) where students create their own material for reading. Other approaches in which learners are given choices in selecting reading material affer a degree of intrinsic motivation. Another way to enhance intrinsic motives is to offer opportunities for learners to gauge their progress through periodic instructor-initiated assessments and self-assessments.

3.        Balance authenticity and readability in choosing texts

Authentic simple texts can either be devised or located in the real world. From ads to labels to reports to essays, text are available that are gramatically and lexically simple. Simplifying an existing potential reading selection may not be necessary. Yet if simplification must be done, it is important to preserve the natural redundancy, humor, wit, and other captivating features of the original material.

4.        Encorage the development of reading strategies

5.        Include both bottom-up and top-down techniques

6.        Follow the SQ3R sequence

  1. Survey: skim the text for an overview of main ideas
  2. Question: the reader asks questions about what he/she wishes to get out of the text
  3. Read: read the text while looking for answers the previously formulated questions
  4. Recite: reprocess the salient points of the text through oral or written language
  5. Review: assess the importance of what one just read and incorporate it in long-term associations

7.        Plan on prereading, during-reading, and after-reading phases

A good rubric to keep in mind for teaching reading is the following three-part framework:

  1. Before you read: spend some time introducing a topic, encouraging, skimming, scanning, predicting, and activating schemata.
  2. While you read: not all reading is simply extensive or global reading.
  3. After you read: comprehension questions are just one form of activity appropriate for postreading.

8.        Build an assessment aspect into your techniques

Consider some of the following overt responses that indicates comprehension in reading:

  1. Doing – the reader responds phsically to a command
  2. Choosing – the reader selects from alternatives posed orally or in writing
  3. Transferring – the reader summarizes orally what is read
  4. Answering – the reader answers questions about the passage
  5. Condensing – the reader outlines or takes notes ona passage
  6. Extending – the reader provides an ending to a story
  7. Duplicating – the reader translates the message into the native language or couples it
  8. Modeling – the reader puts together a toy, for example, after readig directions for assembly
  9. Conversing – the reader engages in a converstaion thagt indicates apprpriate processing of



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Simple and complex at the same time, but not twisted, of course!

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