Monday, July 11, 2011

ESL: Reading and Comprehension

Question: How should ESL students—and all others—read for comprehension?

Answer/Quote: “…strategies that help them use their prior knowledge, read selectively, monitor their comprehension, summarize the text, and evaluate their own level of comprehension.” P. 90.

Comment: About now, I’m finding myself on familiar ground. All of these approaches to reading comprehension are embodied in the Directed Reading Assignment.

First, build up background knowledge about the topic of the chapter. Use pictures, movie clips, discussion.

Second, pre-teach unfamiliar vocabulary. Pronounce the words. Discuss their meanings. Use them in context. Identify roots, some of which will undoubtedly exist in the native language, especially if the language is Spanish.

Third, read and discuss the title. Read and discuss the sub-headings. Read and discuss the opening paragraph, the first sentence of each paragraph and the final paragraph.

Fourth, either the students or the teacher sets the purpose by raising questions that the students will read to answer.

Fifth, discuss the answers to the questions found in the chapter.

Sixth, apply the information gained in some way.

A perfect segué from the language experience approach to reading from textbooks. RayS.

Title: “Instructional Approaches and Teaching Procedures.” AU Chamot and JM O’Malley. Pp. 82-107. In Kids Come in All Languages: Reading Instruction for ESL Students. Eds. K Spangensberg-Urgschat and R Pritchard. Newark, DE: IRA. 1994.

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