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Top Approaches to Teaching Reading

Top Approaches to Teaching Reading | ITTT | TEFL Blog

As we know in any case when we are going to teach a new language, it is really important to pay attention to some particular skills, that is the root of the language.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Gevorg S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Types of Skills

These skills are receptive skills and productive skills. Reading is one of the basic skills of learning a new language. And first of all, I would like to define reading. The process of reading a printed text louder or silently is called reading. For readers, it is important to know and understand the new information of the text. That is why before starting to read a text, it is necessary to pre-teach the vocabulary and let the students get acquainted with the total context. This is so to say, students look through the text, and then try to translate into their native language.

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Types of Reading

We have two main types of reading: intensive and extensive.

Intensive reading aims to get as much information as it is possible, to pay attention to every detail in the text: new words, word expressions, meaning, and usage.

Extensive reading is just reading as much as it is possible, and the attention is paid not to every word but the total meaning. Now I would like to speak about the principles of teaching reading. As the aim of reading is to learn and gain knowledge about different topics, to learn new words from the text.

Reading should be neither too hard, at a point where students can’t understand it and therefore benefit from it. If students don’t understand the majority of the words on a page, the text is too hard for them. On the other hand, if the student understands everything in the reading, there is no challenge and no learning. To assess your students’ level by giving them short reading passages of varying degrees of difficulty. This might take up the first week or so of class. Find out your students’ interests. Often within a class, there are common themes of interest: parenting, medicine, and computers are some topics that come to mind that a majority of students in my classes have shared interest in. Ask students about their interests in the first days of class and collect reading material to match those interests. Teaching reading with texts on these topics will heighten student motivation to read and therefore ensure that they do read and improve their skills

2 girls and a teacher

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Approach to Reading

While reading the focus should be also on developing reading skills such as phonemic awareness, spelling practice, pronunciation, vocabulary learning, and grammar study.

For teaching the reading we need to take into account some reading strategies, such as previewing, predicting, asking questions, guessing words from context. It seems that reading is an easy skill, but it includes many details in it, and as a teacher, we need to bare the information completely because we are the ones who are going to teach the reading skills. One of these details is brainstorming, which can be done this way. In groups, students brainstorm ideas related to the topic of the text. All members say their opinion about the topic and meanwhile, all the ideas are accepted. The teacher sets a time for the brainstorming process and after gathering all the ideas the group organize their ideas and form sentences. In the end, they share their ideas with the whole class. Reading can be taught by discussions too. For example, when students have debates on the topic they have read.

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