by Rob Minor
When it comes to having your ESL class do some reading, many new teachers come up short by using boring or inefficient techniques to practice reading as a class.
Actually, when reading time comes around in your class, there are several effective and efficient teaching methods to help your students develop into strong readers.
Here are 5 simple strategies to use over several classes:
The worst thing a teacher can do is just start reading a new passage or story to a class of ESL learners. This is especially true if the class is at a low level. Teachers need to break down and introduce a story by its vocabulary and content.
1st: Find the vocabulary words in the passage that your students may not know. You need to list them out and go through each one teaching and demonstration meanings and pronunciation.
Once the words have been covered, teachers need to remember to review those words every day in class BEFORE reading the passage. If the students don’t know the vocabulary, they won’t be able to comprehend/learn to comprehend the story content.
2nd: Paraphrase the story using visuals. Use the whiteboard and as you read through a story the first time, paraphrase the meaning to the students. You can do this by vocally explaining it, or by using pictures, diagrams, or charts on the board to help students follow along. Once students have a general idea of the story content, they will have an easier time focusing on the reading and vocabulary.
Once teachers have pre-taught and paraphrased the new passage, students can start to read the story as a group.
One simple technique to use the first time you’re reading through is to have the teacher read a line or 2 and then the students repeat. This helps the students to hear the story fluency and pronunciation of new vocabulary.
Beware to not over do this. Once or twice is enough and then it’s time for students to start reading themselves.