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Effectiveness of 'Power of Reading' methods with EAL students

Discussion in 'Primary' started by gillypearson, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. gillypearson

    gillypearson New commenter

    As I understand it, 'Power of Reading' (from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) recommends pure aural reading of books to students. i.e. the students are NOT given a copy of the book to 'read along to' at the same time as the teacher reading it them aloud.

    My question is, although I can see this makes some sense for native speakers (because it allows them to concentrate on higher-level reasoning, and overall writing structures), I'm dubious as to whether it's so effective or appropriate for EAL students.

    For many EAL students (those who are still considerably behind their peers in basic use of English language), I would imagine that 'reading along' whilst the text is read to them strongly helps familiarise them with the basic words and spellings etc.
    Would it really be compromising 'Power of Reading' principles too much by (differentiating according to need) and insisting most of the class purely listen to the read text, whilst struggling EAL students could be given a copy of the book and try to 'read' it simultaneously with it being read aloud?

    I think what I'm really asking is, has the 'Power of Reading' scheme really been strongly validated to be successful with even EAL students, or does it need some modifications?
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Perhaps it ought to be called "Power of Listening".
  3. Sarah-Jane88

    Sarah-Jane88 New commenter

    I am interested in this topic as my school is thinking of investing in this resource. I haven't researched so far, but I am put off if children are not allowed a copy of the book for themselves.
    Does anyone have positive experiences to share using this resource?
  4. emilydm

    emilydm New commenter

    I'm currently in year 1 and have been introduced to the power of reading scheme over the past year... And love it! It may be slightly different as it's year 1 so often they will not read alongside you reading aloud anyway, but I don't see why they couldn't read the text alongside you reading it. Generally I like the scheme as it has a really good variety of texts that really engage the children, a nice range of lessons, activites and text types covered. It tends to slowly introduce the book to the children, so initially looking at inference and/or predicting with just the front cover, or 1 image from the book. Then gradually you explore and read through the book, in steps. So as long as they didn't read ahead of what you're reading as I class, I don't see a problem with them reading the text too!
  5. FriedEggs

    FriedEggs New commenter

    I can't really answer your query, but you are correct - the Power of Reading suggests reading out loud to students. I think that this may be of some benefit to EAL students. However, I suspect they would gain more from pre-reading the text themselves, with appropriate support so they have a general understanding of the story. Alternatives include showing a film of the story first, or reading a translation before hand.

    I don't generally like students reading along with the text, as I don't think it works well. Our brains are not well equipped to process text and listen at the same time (certainly mine isn't). I would rather they listened first, then opened the text and re-read it for a deeper level of understanding.

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