Saturday, August 4, 2012

Reading Materials for ESL Students

Note: Normally, I do not publish my blog, English Updates, on weekends. However, I publish several other blogs during the week having to do with ideas in English education that are not current, but still useful. On weekends, I will publish samples of these ideas. RayS.

Question: What are some criteria for selecting materials to be used by ESL students?

. Language Experience. Use language experience as one method for reading lessons. Students individually or in groups dictate information or stories that are recorded by the teacher on chart paper o blackboard, etc., and the children then re-read aloud and silently what was recorded.

. Real-world print materials. Signs, advertising, etc.

. Basal readers in the past have been largely narrative. Content texts are usually expository and organized differently from narrative. Use the directed reading assignment for both types of material. (Find out what the students already know about the topic and/or build background by discussion, pictures, etc. Read the title, sub-title, first paragraph, first sentence of each intermediate paragraph, last paragraph. What have they learned? Raise questions that they want to answer. They read the text to answer their questions. Discuss. And apply the information in some way.)

. Children’s literature and trade books. Use books whose illustrations support and extend meaning.

. Read aloud, with discussion.

. Provide books dealing with the children’s native culture.

Title: “Selecting Materials for the Reading Instruction of ESL Children,” VG Allen in Kids Come in All Languages: Reading Instruction for ESL Students. Eds. K Spangensberg-Urgschat and R Pritchard. Newark, DE: IRA. 1994, 108-131.

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