Framework & activities
Materials & Technology
“…We must work fiercely as a society to preserve the
development of particular aspects of reading….” – Wolfson,
Proust and the Squid (23)
The reading brain is a complex network of synaptic circuitry
that is developed through the process of reading.
The brain circuitry developed in the reading brain must be
wired to activate schema and sustain that schema over a long
period of time.
ABE Instructional challenge: to help adults develop that
circuitry by engaging with the text of longer works through
structured activities in a social environment.
Why is reading an important skill to develop? List 3
Has reading enriched your life? Describe what reading
means to you.
What’s your reading speed? At what speed do you think
your students read? What would be a goal?
What reading materials do you use with your class now?
List some. Put them in order of difficulty.
What is a reading strategy that you use? How would you
demonstrate this strategy to your students?
What rewards do you give students for improving their
What are the criteria for improving reading fluency?
Identify why reading is
an important skill to
Discuss your personal
passion for reading and
how you have benefited
personally from being an
Use prereading activities like
Shadow Reading to prepare
students for meaningful
engagement with a text
Directly relate the reading
material to the previous
knowledge of the readers to
show them that what they
are reading ties to things
they have read and learned
activate the schema
Listening & dictation tool.
Create your own
exercises in a number of
Track students progress
Create homework tasks.
Competitions: keep a
class scoreboard to show
which students are doing
Shadow Reading: record the selection on
Listen and Write, distribute the reading to Ss,
let them listen and shadow read at home
Audio or video tape or online websites, e.g., Listen and Write (video is better
as the students can see the lip movements & there are the paralinguistics - the
Choose a short part of the text, eg. 8-10 lines of the dialogue, & give the script
out for the students to read & listen at the same time.
At this stage Ss could analyze the script & mark the sense groups - words
which are said together between pauses.
Play the recording again but this time the students talk along with it in exactly
the same way as the speakers, taking on their accents. If it is a dialogue, you
could have each speaker being imitated by different halves of the class. Play
the tape a few times & as the students become more confident & accurate,
slowly turn the volume down so that you can't hear the original, only the
students. So in effect they are dubbing the text.
Tape the students' version & use it for a comparison with the original & an
analysis of different phonological aspects.
Ss try hard to sound as natural as the speakers on the tape
SS gain confidence as they realize how good they sound
Follow up with discussions re reading and re the process
Do animals have Language? What’s the difference
between human language and animal
Please read the paragraph.
What difficulties did you have in reading this
paragraph? Please discuss with a partner.
What else could I have done to activate the schema of
participants before asking then to read the passage?
Syntactic rules allow a speaker to combine signals with existing meanings
to create an infinite number of new meanings. Even though combinatory
rules have also been found in some animal communication systems, they
have never been clearly linked to concurrent changes in meaning. The
present field experiment indicates that wild Diana monkeys,
Cercopithecus diana, may comprehend the semantic changes caused by a
combinatory rule present in the natural communication of another
primate, the Campbell's monkey, C. campbelli. Campbell's males give
acoustically distinct alarm calls to leopards, Panthera pardus, and
crowned-hawk eagles, Stephanoaetus coronatus, and Diana monkeys
respond to these calls with their own corresponding alarm calls. However,
in less dangerous situations, Campbell's males emit a pair of low,
resounding ‘boom’ calls before their alarm calls. Playbacks of boom-
introduced Campbell's alarm calls no longer elicited alarm calls in Diana
monkeys, indicating that the booms have affected the semantic specificity
of the subsequent alarm calls. When the booms preceded the alarm calls
of Diana monkeys, however, they were no longer effective as semantic
modifiers, indicating that they are meaningful only in conjunction with
Campbell's alarm calls. I discuss the implications of these findings for the
evolution of syntactic abilities.
Invite former students who
are successful readers to visit
your class and share how
their improvement of reading
skills has helped them reach
their personal and academic
Create class reading goals for
and comprehension, e.g.,
Timed Readings. Post the
goals in the classroom
Engage the readers in
specific reading rate
improvement exercises so
that they see that they can
improve their reading
Use all of your knowledge
about the specific group of
students you are currently
teaching to maintain
Please read this passage as quickly as you can.
Look up at me when you have finished and I will write
your time on the board.
Calculate your reading speed: divide 706 words by
your time in minutes, e.g., 1.5 or 2
P. 230 Real Reading, Pearson
You will need:
Stopwatch or clock
Clipboard (so students will not see what you are writing)
1-minute reading selection
Start the stopwatch when the student begins the first word of the passageT
Assure the student you will say an unknown word after a couple of seconds .
After one minute, say "Stop," stop the stopwatch, and circle the last word read.
During the reading, don’t correct mistakes. Mistakes and self-correction will be counted in the score.
If the student has extreme difficulty, stop the test.
Reassure the student that she or he will redo the assessment after further reading practice.
Select a lower level passage for the next assessment.
Follow as the S reads..
Make a slash ( / ) through any words missed or unable toread without help.
Mark a dash above words skipped.
Word substitutions, including incorrect forms of the word
Words in the wrong order; both or all words are counted as wrong
Struggling that lasts for 3 to 5 seconds, or more
The following are not considered misses:
Varying pronunciation due to accent, dialect, or speech impediment
Repetitions in which the wording is correct
Self-correcting a mistake; the word is scored as correct.
Count the total words read in one minute using the words-per-line totals
listed in the margin (WPM reading rate)
Mark this on a chart, along with the date of the reading.
Count the number of errors (slashes). Record the number in the "errors" box
Subtract the number of errors from the total number of words read to find the
number of correct words read.
Divide the number of correct words by the total words read and multiply this
result by 100. This is the student's accuracy percentage.
Record this number in the box.
After about four to six readings, students should reach the target words-per-
minute standard for their grade level with an accuracy rate of 90 to 95
Example:Total words read: 60Number of errors: 6
Number of correct words:60 – 6 = 54
Accuracy percentage:54/60 = .9
.9 x 100 = 90%
Select a variety of reading
passages at slightly different
levels of difficulty so that
students can see the progress
they are making yet the
challenges that are still ahead
to become better readers.
Fry Readability Generator
Model for your students the
strategies that you use while
reading in your second
Allow readers to select
some of their own
reading materials for
outside of the classroom.
Allow readers to work
with their peers during
Used to calculate grade reading level (or reading difficulty
Average number of sentences (y-axis) and syllables (x-axis)
per hundred words are plotted onto a specific graph;
To calculate a grade level score:
Randomly select three separate 100 word passages. (Count
every word including proper nouns, initializations, and
Count the number of sentences in each 100 word sample
(estimate to nearest tenth).
Count the number of syllables in each 100 word sample.
(Each numeral is a syllable. For example, 2007 counts as 1
word with 4 syllables.)
Plot the average sentence length and the average number of
syllables on the graph.
The area in which it falls is the approximate grade
The Dale-Chall Formula calculates the US grade level
of a text sample based on sentence length and the
number of ‘hard’ words.
Provide genuine praise for the
improvements that Ss are making in
increasing their reading fluency
Establish the criteria for successful
completion of reading tasks prior to
engaging in the reading, e.g., increase
wpm by__, find pp. x-x in novel,
learn x-number of new words/week,
be able to decode an unknown word
based on context/parts of
words/understand an article from
NYTimes, be able to paraphrase the
idea in a sentence/ be able to
summarize the author’s main idea in
a paragraph/article/essay, be able to
write a letter to editor re issue.
Engage readers in
that do not require them
to take a written test
Teach readers how to self-
assess their performance
based on predetermined
criteria for successful
completion of reading
Controlled-vocabulary basal reading series, 50s/60s
Skills mastery curriculum models and materials (1960s/70s)
Process approaches to writing
Integrated language arts, 80s/90s
Schema theory: reading is a constructive process in which
reader is creating meaning from a text
Transactional theory of reading: reading is activity that
combines the energies of the writer and reader, with meaning
the product of the unique collaboration of text and reader in
any act of reading – “live circuit”: when reader meets text it
allows a reader to infuse meaning with the text as the text
guides and contains that meaning.
Features of the Good Reading Task
Makes use of authentic and challenging texts
Frequently involves an oral reading of the text by the teacher or a
student followed by silent reading and rereading of the text
Provides students with a rhetorical or topical framework for processing
and analyzing the text
Involves the student interacting with the text and with each other
Involves students in direct analysis of the text instead of indirect
Frequently involves the transfer of information from text to a visual or
Active, constructive, social experience
Fosters independent readers
Uninterrupted sustained silent reading – technique
designed to engage students in free reading of self-
People learn and remember more when conditions
require them to understand the material.
Activities: collaborative group work/comprehension
presentations/critical analysis/book review – multiple
Comprehension questions: micro & micro; include questions that require attention to
language for meaning
Prediction, summarizing, paraphrasing: Wordle
Role play & dialogues– characters
Journal writing: write on the same topic first from the point of view of 1 character and
then from that of another character
Websites, e.g., www.wikipedia.com
Wiki pages/blogs for each book
PPTs for each book
Elements of fiction
•Create colorful graphic
representations of texts based
on word occurrence from any
•Feed in the text either by
copy and paste or by
specifying a URL
•Analyze text and creates a
colorful representation with
more frequently occurring
words appearing much larger
than less frequent words.
•Adjust colors and designs to
suit your taste.
Short poems / Haiku
Topic research tasks
Features of the Good Reading Task
The Role of Wikis in Reading Tasks
Makes use of authentic and challenging
Repository of authentic reading passages and
materials, e.g., links to relevant websites and e-
Frequently involves an oral reading of the
text by the teacher or a student followed by
silent reading and rereading of the text
Collaborative writing/reading projects require
reading and rereading of texts, individually and
independently and collectively and collaboratively
Provides students with a rhetorical or
topical framework for processing and
analyzing the text
Wiki format has certain rhetorical characteristics
that require that the learner process and analyze
Involves the student interacting with the
text and with each other
Wiki projects require student-to-student
collaboration and student-to-text engagement and
Involves students in direct analysis of the
text instead of indirect question answering
Wiki content requires analytical and higher order
critical thinking tasks, such as monitoring posts,
fact-checking information, and editing
Frequently involves the transfer of
information from text to a visual or
The presentation of content in the wiki medium
involves the transfer of information from text to a
visual or diagrammatic representation.
Materials to Support Novels/Books
Resource/support for reading, writing, grammar
Comprehension Questions & discussion
Student –created Wikis about assigned readings, e.g., novels
Student Power Points about Novels
Interactive w/ readings
Denotative meaning: dictionary definition, e.g., look at/over: detect
Connotative meaning: the meaning of the word in the context of the
Creating ‘concept pods’ – Merton, Test-L listserve
Classification/categorization of words in semantic fields
Grids/charts w/ categories
Semantic mapping or clustering
Vivian Cook (1991)
10-12 encounters with word: active vocabulary
The deeper the processing, the more likely acquisition
Grammar & Reading
Learning roots and prefixes
Learning major suffixes that change a word from one grammatical
category to another.
Fill in the blanks with the following words:
1. The immigration official _____ his luggage at Customs.
2. The computer spell checker ____ the document for errors.
3. The researcher _____ the results of the analysis for any
4. The student ____ his homework before handing it in.
5. The doctor ____ the patient at his annual check-up.
How are each of these words used? Context?
Promotes more effective
Encourages critical thinking
Promotes development of reading/writing ability
Integrates reading and writing
Requires response to reading
What did the writer say?
How do I feel about that?
What do I think about that?
Writers & readers become active participants in
Develop critical thinking skills
Develop a perspective about what they’ve read
Develop confidence as a reader and writer
English Vocabulary Games with Pictures
Just Read Now: Provides different instructional approaches, such as concept mapping,
Frayer model, and contextual redefinition
“A Little Latin…and a Lot of English” -- This article, written by Newton and Newton,
offers guidelines and resources for teaching the “classic vocabulary” approach woven
through a happy school memory of “Roots Day.
“A Focus on Vocabulary” -- From Pacific Resources for Education and Learning and
written by Lehr, Osborn, and Hiebert, this is research overview has in-depth information in
a reader-friendly format. The 44-page booket could be used for professional development
or even shared with parents.
Use theme-based approach
Supplemental materials related to topics
Promotes engagement w/ text and w/ peers
Develops critical thinking skills
Increased input and fosters language acquisition