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approaches to reading

Discussion in 'English' started by purpleflamingo, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. What suggestions do you have in setting up and motivating reading in class? I am teaching English as a second language and the students are quite advanced in their English (in a bilingual programme). They are aged 13-14. Some don't like reading and don't, or certainly don't with enough attention to understand, and I am struggling with them.
    Sometimes we read together as a class but some don't pay attention and the discussion of the text becomes slow and boring due to this lack of attention and waiting for people to answer or find the place or complaining they don't understand.
    Mostly they read individually and answer questions but there too, I let them talk with partners and they go off-task and it's clear some student don't understand the text. Then they rely on others to help them out and explain it.
    Reading is becoming a frustrating activity. I think we are also tired at this point in the year as they were more enthusiastic in the first months of the course.
    Any suggestions or feedback on approaches to reading and how to motivate students?
     
  2. What suggestions do you have in setting up and motivating reading in class? I am teaching English as a second language and the students are quite advanced in their English (in a bilingual programme). They are aged 13-14. Some don't like reading and don't, or certainly don't with enough attention to understand, and I am struggling with them.
    Sometimes we read together as a class but some don't pay attention and the discussion of the text becomes slow and boring due to this lack of attention and waiting for people to answer or find the place or complaining they don't understand.
    Mostly they read individually and answer questions but there too, I let them talk with partners and they go off-task and it's clear some student don't understand the text. Then they rely on others to help them out and explain it.
    Reading is becoming a frustrating activity. I think we are also tired at this point in the year as they were more enthusiastic in the first months of the course.
    Any suggestions or feedback on approaches to reading and how to motivate students?
     
  3. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Developing phonological awareness, ie the ability to break words down into sounds, is so important to young readers, and all the top educational neuroscientists tell us that bringing back rhyming poetry into the classrooms and into the homes should be a priority. However, for many years rhyming poetry has been replaced by free verse which does nothing to nurture phonological awareness. I am a retired teacher, and seeing the situation, and also hearing it from my local primary school children, I've written 900 new poems, most with rhyme, rhythm and with lots of stories. I made a website to house them, three and a half years ago, and 530,000 visitors have been to it from 146 countries of the world. I've written poems for children of every age, from toddlers to the retired children, like myself. If you'd like to see it, please just Google JOSIE'S POEMS, and do tell others of all the work I've done for the teaching world. Thanks.Oh try the poem I've just done: "Netting a Leprechaun" and you can find it just under the main poetry index. It is for St Patrick's Day.
     
  4. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    I do reading with Year 5 and 6, so what works for me may not work for you, but one of the things that helps my groups with motivation is having a crossword based on the text they have read. They all seem to really enjoy doing crosswords, and of course compete to finish it first! Obviously they need to concentrate on the text in order to complete the crossword. You could then follow up with more detailed comprehension questions. Good luck
     
  5. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    We have recently started using literature circles and it has completely transformed the reading that the learners do. They have to complete the readings independently, but they choose the books themselves so they've little excuse for saying it's 'boring'. Actually, one group chose 'The Curious Incident' and halfway through they were regretting their decision as 'nothing was happening.'. However, because they had a responsibility to the group to keep reading (and fulfill their roles) they found that a few chapters on it got very interesting and in the end, they (without prompting) said they were glad they'd read in the lit circle or they'd have given up on the novel and not reached the 'good' bit.


    In another teacher's class a pretty 'unanimated' boy was arguing passionately with his group about meaning in 1984 - a guy who in library lessons would rather count the cracks in the ceiling that actually read a book. (I exaggerate but you get the idea...)


    It only costs 20-30 minutes of class time per session and the tasks they have to complete mean they are really getting practical development in their skills. And they are reading INDEPENDENTLY!


    Google 'literature circles' and loads will come up. Make sure you thoroughly understand the process, the possible pitfalls and others' experiences of how to make it successful.


    I love it!


    PS We have loads of EAL too.
     
  6. Hi, those sound like good ideas, the literature circle sounds like a book club!
    Any good sites you can recommend that will generate crosswords to avoid doing my poor hand-made ones??

     
  7. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    I use this web site: http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/4th-comprehension.html



    Unfortunately they have recently started charging - but it is only $20 - about £12. Lucky me - I printed off a load before they started charging! If you want to PM me with your postal address, I can send you a couple of examples. Not all of them have crosswords - but several do. What I also love, is that they come with answer sheets too! It is an American site - so there is the odd "Americanism" - and you have to be aware of how their year numbering works (e.g. grade 4 = year 5).
     
  8. Hi chocolateworshipper, that would be great, I work with Americans and I generally teach American English (I'm not in the UK) so it's all fine for me!!
    The postal address wouldn't work out though as I'm not in the UK and mail here is dreadful... if email is an option, let me know with how to get in touch...
     

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