Teaching Reading to ESL Students
Teaching Reading to ESL Students, how do you do it?
by Aarti Thomas
If you plan to teach reading to ESL students, you have to first do some planning, and follow your structure.
1. The first thing to do is to introduce the student to the reading theme or topic. You could use visuals or a warm-up conversation to do this. The purpose of this is to get response from students as your lessons should be student focused, where students do most of the talking.
2. Next, decide the vocabulary needed to understand the story and how you plan to teach new words to the children. It’s not necessary to teach all the words that you think the students may not know; just teach them important words required to understand the passage.
3. You need a focus question when you teach reading to ESL students. For beginner students, it could be something found three-quarters of the way through the text. In case of advanced students, ask a ‘gist’ question where the student has to deduce something after reading the passage. Write the chosen question on the board for all students to see.
4. Next, give the students sufficient time to read the passage. Watch them to find out how they do and help students taking a particularly long time to read the passage.
5. Besides asking the focus questions, ask the students some additional questions. If they find it difficult answering the questions, let them read the passage again.
6. Every reading lesson for ESL students should be followed with an oral or written task. This task helps the student use their knowledge about the topic, and in the process, makes it easier for them to understand it.
Lastly, if you have time, you can include an additional ESL activity like some additional writing practice. Perhaps there’s something in the passage that seems particularly interesting to the students; use the topic for them to write or converse about.
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