This article continues the topic of Teaching Reading to the ESL Class BACK TO PART 1
by Rob Minor
As the students get more familiar with the passage/story, teachers can start to call on them to read individually and out loud to the class. This allows the teacher and the other students to listen to pronunciation and make corrections.
Have the students read a page or paragraph to everyone. Avoid having them read only 1 line. It’s not enough practice and the students can’t practice fluency or speed.
During this period, the teacher can stop and pose questions to the students regarding the story content or vocabulary. This helps students to pay attention to line by line or page by page content.
Reading as a group should be done once or twice when working on a new story. Once the teacher is certain most students understand the basics of the passage, he/she can start to use different techniques.
Once the teacher is confident in the students reading ability, instead of reading page by page, teachers can try these 2 reading variations to make the class interesting and keep the students focused:
1) Have the students read sentence by sentence from starting from 1 and progressing to 4 sentences.
The first read around the class (student to student), each student reads one sentence in order as the story progresses. When everyone has done 1 sentence, the first reader reads 2 sentences and everyone subsequently reads 2 sentences as the story progresses. Then this continues to 3 sentences, and then 4 sentences. Once everyone in the class has read 4 sentences at least once, then the 5th round of reading begins and starts back at 1 sentence. This keeps the students focused on where the reading is in the story as they must follow until it’s their turn.
2) A 2nd variation to this is to have each student read a paragraph as the reading goes around the class.
The first student reads the first paragraph, the second the second paragraph and so on until the story is complete. Students will be focused as some paragraphs are shorter than others so they must pay attention to where others are reading. Also, students won’t get bored waiting for their turn as their reading turns will be more frequent.
When teachers feel most students are reading the passage/story well, he/she can divide the students into reading groups of 2-4 students. Have them make a circle and then they can begin reading to each other. They can read page by page, or paragraph by paragraph.
The teacher just needs to walk around the class listening to each group as they read and make corrections when need be.
Group reading is great because students will have a chance to read more than when it’s the entire class reading. Also, some shy students may feel more confident reading to peers instead of to the teacher in front of everyone.
Teachers, think about your reading strategy as you teach reading. Find a system that works for you and remember that comprehension and vocabulary are important and the more that students read, the better readers they become.