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Pengyou

Helping students improve their reading skills...

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Pengyou

I would like to prepare some materials for my students to help them improve their reading skills.  I have looked through their textbooks.  The only answer I see to improving reading skills seems to be "learn more words".  Granted, vocabulary is important, but there are other things that students can do to improve their reading.   Does anyone have articles that are helpful to this end?  Suggestions...ideas...especially things you have used in China that worked?  I know..I am an oral English teacher...but I firmly believe that if I can get my students to be more successful at reading, they will like English more and will be more willing to speak, etc.

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ChTTay

What is the age and level of the students? In what type of school?

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imron
5 hours ago, Pengyou said:

Does anyone have articles that are helpful to this end?

Train what you want to learn.  If they want to get better at reading, they need to do more reading.  There is no substitute for actually doing the thing you want to get good at.

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mungouk

https://readtheory.org/ is quite nice... if the students do a couple of pre-tests then it will give them reading comprehensions based on their current level, and it continues to be adaptive all the time you use it. 

 

We use it a lot in my school.  I think it also gives you lexile scores.

 

What age/level are they at?  If quite low/young you could try working on lists of Fry sight words so that they're not struggling with the most common words that they should just know rather than having to decode.

 

Other than that... reading classic books in English suitable for their level/age. So many great ones to choose from. 

 

 

 

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Pengyou

Thanks for the great input!  They are jr and sr high school students in a public school.  The school has some of the lowest test scores in the district; the district is one of the most backward in the whole city.

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mungouk

In terms of books, my Chinese students (aged 11-14) seem to really like:

  • Roald Dahl, who wrote a good range of books covering different levels... e.g. The Magic Finger is only about 32 pages, but then there are the longer chapter books and classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and most of them have the brilliant Quentin Blake illustrations which make them very accessible (and even more funny).
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is also very popular
  • ditto for How to Train Your Dragon series

 

They are all either in, or wanting to enter, international schools so most of them have reasonable English levels.

 

If you want some lesson plan ideas, check out https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/ (by British Council) or just google "lesson plan" and whatever you want to cover... there's a ton of resources out there.

 

btw: if you're considering level, you should expect ESL students to be at least 2 grades below native speakers' reading level, or in your case possibly even lower. But starting lower and building confidence will surely help, so long as you don't give them readings they consider to be for much younger kids. 

 

 

 

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Pengyou

Thanks again, everyone.  I did a quick analysis of the grade 7 textbook - tested at grade 3.5 to 4....so I am looking for materials at grade 5 or 6.

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mungouk

Just to take a step back though — why are they only learning "oral" English? 

 

Illiterate students are only going to progress in a very limited way, especially in vocabulary if they can't read.

 

If they can understand Hanyu Pinyin then at least they can recognise the Roman alphabet.

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