Top tips for reading
Are you teaching students English or helping your child to read at home? Here are our top tips for helping them learn to read.
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Set your learner up for success by following these three strategies.
1. Give your learner time
In each lesson, your student will need time to blend the unfamiliar words using their phonics skills. Rushing them will not help them retain the words or develop their literacy skills. Encourage them without giving them the answer so that they can build confidence in their own reading ability.
Be patient when you are listening to them read the book aloud. Be supportive and prompt them when needed, but let them lead. The pace of their reading will improve as they progress through the program, and they can watch the video with audio to work on reading at a more natural speed.
Although the Reading program offers accelerated learning over the course of a year, it is important to allow your child sufficient time to practice. We recommend covering one book bundle a week to complete the activities that focus on one particular sound and theme.
2. Keep them focused
Try to ensure that there are minimal distractions while your child is reading. This means no pencil cases nearby and no other learning materials or games on the table that might catch their eye.
The student should just have the book in front of them. This will encourage them to stay focused and to look carefully at the words on the page. It is a good idea to encourage them to follow along with their finger too. Praise the students who remain on task and stay engaged!
One mantra I found useful in my classroom is “See the word, say the word, hear the word…then it goes in your BRAIN!” Even if you are allowing students to take turns to read, everyone should have their eyes down to read along and then repeat each page together.
You can also help your child to concentrate by keeping any background noises to a minimum and by ensuring that you are also fully engaged in the task! By doing all these things, you’ll create the best learning environment for them to read.
3. Encourage lots of practice
To develop their literacy skills, the child needs to read aloud regularly and develop good reading habits from the start.
As a general rule of thumb, we encourage that they read aloud for at least ten minutes a day. It’s important that they read aloud and are supervised by an adult, even if there are no other English speakers at home. The video with audio is a useful reference tool in this case.
By reading aloud, the student will increase their confidence and improve their reading skills. Here are the three main areas we actively develop:
1) Accuracy – how similar to the audio is their pronunciation?
2) Fluency – how smooth is their reading?
3) Expression – are they reading like a robot or with the appropriate feeling?
We recommend using our free tracker sheet at the end of each Set of books to measure their progress.
Check out our blog on How to Use Gestures to increase learner engagement even more!