How to Help Your Students
Learn to Read
If you want to
help your students learn to read English you need to give them some
guidelines, and some interesting materials to read. Here are some
suggestions to keep your reading lessons fresh and useful.
Tips to Teach Your Students to Learn to Read English
The first thing you need to do is find interesting texts
No students want to read if they have boring texts. If you can find
real news stories or magazine articles then that is much better but
make sure the vocabulary and grammar isn’t too difficult. You can also
use excerpts from books or scripts, or song lyrics, depending on the
level of the group.
Finding interesting texts for beginners can be more difficult. You need
to reinforce the vocabulary they know rather than give them too many
new words, which means it is difficult for them to understand the text.
Of course you can use children’s picture books, but if you are teaching
teenagers or adults these often won't be appropriate. And even kids'
books can use a lot of new words. One option if you have a very low
level class is to use the English
Short Stories for Complete Beginners
. This will help them
read but won't give them complicated vocabulary.
Teaching your students to use
is important at every level. Either a bi-lingual
dictionary or a picture dictionary for lower levels, or a single
language dictionary for advanced students. Encourage them to look up
words they don't know, and not guess them. If a student looks up a
word, they are more likely to remember it, and you can be sure they
understand the meaning.
In class, reading can become a little boring. You can make your reading
lessons livelier by trying some of the following techniques. Most of
them can be adapted to suit any level.
Put a short reading passage on a wall somewhere. Students are in pairs,
one goes to the text, remembers a section of it, goes to their partner
and repeats it. The seated partner writes exactly what their ‘running'
partner says. Check for spelling and punctuation at the end.
Each pair of students has two connected texts. Each reads and then
gives their partner a summary of their text.
Instead of you giving the students the comprehension questions, get
them to write their own.
Ask questions to see how much the students remember.
Re-arranging the text
Cut the text up in sections. Place them around the class. Students work
in small groups to find a complete set and put them in order.
Grammar or vocabulary races
Ask them to find an example of a certain grammar point or a synonym for
another word. They raise their hand when they find it.
If you want your students to learn to read English then the most
important thing they can do is practice. That isn't something you can
force them to do. Make them aware of where they can get appropriate
reading material and you will be giving them the best help you can.
Click here for interesting yet simple short stories for practicing the sounds of the alphabet.