Learning to read = reading to learn How teaching reading strategies work in large mixed ability classes
Wendy Arnold Your trainers (Rebecca) Chen Zehang MA in Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL – York) PCEd (HK) Freelance teacher, trainer, writer, researcher IATEFL’s YLT SIG committee Specialist in reading for young learner literacy 15 years experience teaching Chinese young learners • MA in English Teaching (PRC-BNU) • PhD in e-learning & teacher education (UK-Nottingham) • lecturer in BNU & special lecturer in University of Nottingham • teacher trainer, material writer, researcher
Overview • Identifying reading strategies • Understanding why the right reading level is important • Applying reading strategies • Developing learner materials to use as reading resources
Reading strategies THINK-PAIR-SHARE-SMALL GROUP What do you know? How do learners learn to read? In Chinese? In English?
Work with a partner. Take it in turns to read Part A) and then Part B) Part A) Your enquiry about the use of the entrance area at the library for the purpose of displaying posters and leaflets about Welfare and Supplementary Benefit rights, gives rise to the question of the provenance and authoritativeness of the material to be displayed.
Part B) Posters and leaflets issued by the Central Office of Information, the Department of Health and Social Security and other authoritative bodies are usually displayed in libraries, but items of a disputatious or polemic kind, whilst not necessarily excluded, are considered individually.
Think-pair-share What do you think this text means? Simplify it.
Plain English! Thank you for your letter asking for permission to put up posters in the library. Before we can give you an answer we will need to see a copy of the posters to make sure they won't offend anyone. http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/
Reflection Do you understand what you were reading? When you are reading this text, what reading strategy are you using? Do you find this text interesting? It is likely this text will be ‘low interest’ and ‘high ability’! Success in learning to read necessitates ‘high interest’ and ‘low/right’ ability texts.
What is reading? ‘Reading is much more than the decoding of black marks upon a page; it is a quest for meaning and one which requires the reader to be an active participant’ (Cox 1991) The reader needs to: Crack the code or decipher the print (decode) Reading is about making sense which ‘powers learners learning’ (making meaning) Reading brings together text to be decoded and understood and a reader has to engage actively with both these processes (Kelly 2008)
SUMMARY The purpose of reading is to make sense. If you can’t do this, then you are not reading material at the right level!
Identifying reading strategies READ the text. What is this about? Semantics（语义学） – making meaning from text eg. THINK-PAIR-SHARE Once upon a time there was a fungo who lived in a huy singo. The huy singo was built high up in some grantins.
Identifying reading strategies Semantics – making meaning from text and visuals The fungo’s huy singo was very deep. It had to climb up the high grantins quickly so that the tinnies did not eat it!
Semantics REFLECTION How can you use this activity with your learners?
Identifying reading strategies Syntactic（句法） – grammar Once upon a time there was a white fungo. It could run fast. THINK-PAIR-SHARE Learning point? Adjective + noun Verb + adverb
THINK-PAIR-SHARE Common errors – WHY are your learners doing this? Bear Father He running fast. I very much like chocolate.
Syntactics REFLECTION How can you use this activity with your learners?
Identifying reading strategies THINK-PAIR-SHARE You have used two processes which are necessary for reading. 1) DECODING = saying words 2) making meaning Can you have decoding without making meaning?CAUTION: reading out words DOES NOT MEAN UNDERSTANDING THEM
Identifying reading strategies Graphophonic（字形与字音） = linking letter and sound Understanding that not every word in English can be ‘sounded out’ but it is a good place to start!
Identifying decoding strategies Graphophonic can be divided into 3 sections Synthetic phonics（综合式字母拼读） = each letter has a sound Analytic phonics （分析式字母拼读）= seeing patterns in words 3) Whole words = high frequency words which need to be memorised
Blending sounds for reading di plo do cus di plo do cus
Blending REFLECTION How can you use this activity with your learners?
Segmenting （断开） sounds for writing stegosaurus How many syllables can you hear? Clap them! Where do the syllables fall?
Segmenting REFLECTION How can you use this activity with your learners?
Alliteration （头韵） Alliteration is when you make a list of words with the same initial sound e.g. /g/ it DOES NOT need to make sense green grass glass gun gap goes galloping THINK-GROUP Think of a sound which your learners have problems with and brainstorm as many words as you can with this initial sound. Practice saying it! SHARE – GROUP Say your alliteration words to another group. Listen to their alliteration words!
Alliteration Tongue twister alliteration – practising the sound /p/. Say the tongue twister! Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper Where’s the peck of pickled pepper, Peter Piper picked? THINK-PAIR Make your own tongue twister alliteration! Choose one sound and see how many words you know with that sound – it does NOT have to make sense SHARE it with another PAIR
Alliteration REFLECTION How can you use this activity with your learners?
Analytic phonics WORD FAMILIES OR RHYMING WORDS(change the vowel) THINK-PAIR Read out the words in the –at family. Now make up new words in the other families – they DON’T have to make sense! Reflection How could you use this with your learners?
Analytic phonicsMaking rhymes THINK-PAIR If you are teaching learners to rhyme how could you start to help them to complete this rhyme? How could you help them understand the semantics (meaning)? There once was a very old cat Who liked to sit on a ................ He didn’t like fish From a dirty ........... But loved to drink milk When sitting on ............
Rhymes REFLECTION How can you use this activity with your learners?
High frequency words contd/… Masterson, J Stuart, M Dixon M Lovejoy S (2003) Children’s Printed Word Database: Economic & Social Research Council funded project R00023406 - Primary National Strategy UK
Whole words – high frequency THINK-PAIR Which words might cause a problem? Why? What could you do to help learners remember them?
High frequency words – learning them GROUPING by type and initial sound The Then Them These They That Than This Those By rhyme See Me Be By size An At As On To Go By By type = pronoun He She I We You What When Where Which Whose Why
Learning vocabulary REFLECTION How can you use this activity activity with your learners?
Consider – THINK-PAIR-SHARE read hear say write You need to .... a word before you can .... it You need to .... a word before you can .... it You need to .... a word before you can .... it (Linse 2005)
Developing learner materials to use as reading resources You need to .... a word before you can read it THINK-PAIR-SHARE What learner materials can you use to promote reading?
Developing learner materials to use as reading resources THINK-PAIR-SHARE What other materials do you see everyday which could be used to promote language?
REFLECTION How can you use this activity with your learners?
Developing learner materials to use as reading resources You need to .... a word before you can write it THINK-PAIR-SHARE What learner materials can you use to promote reading and writing?
REFLECTION How can you use this activity with your learners?
Developing learner materials to use as reading resources THEORY: If a learner can write language then they can read it. By reading the text they have written they are making meaning and developing their language ability.
Conclusion Learners need EXPLICIT instruction on: Graphophonics or sounds so they can BLEND sounds and read or DECODE words Semantics so they can MAKE MEANING or MAKE SENSE of words Syntactics so they can be accurate in speaking and writing BUT
Conclusion They need to HEAR words before they can .... them They need to SAY words before they can .... them They need to READ words before they can ... them A mixed ability class is an advantage because ... A large class is an advantage because ....
Thank you Wendy Arnold and Rebecca Chen Invitation to all to join IATEFL YLT SIG discussion group – Just send an empty message to:firstname.lastname@example.org
References Linse, C (2005) Young Learners. New York:McGraw Hill Masterson, J Stuart, M Dixon M Lovejoy S (2003) Children’s Printed Word Database: Economic & Social Research Council funded project R00023406 - Primary National Strategy UK USEFUL WEBSITES http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/try/teaching-kids http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids.htm