Things to consider before teaching reading• All children listen from birth and naturally acquire speech.• All children have to learn how to read and write.• Meaning is the most important element in reading just as it is in listening.• Just as listening came before speaking, so reading comes before writing.
Think about your own teaching situation• How old are the children in your class?• Can they read and write in their mother tongue?• Do they know there are different spellings for similar sounds in English?• What words might beginners recognize already?
What are your three main priorities when teaching your students to read in English?• Focus on meaning• Word recognition, making the connection between familiar sounds and written words or phrases.• Naming the letters of the alphabet.• Predicting the pronunciation of a written word.
Activities to help children connect sounds with lettersPlay alphabet games:1. Memory games—using letter cards2. Initial letter games—children recognize and collect the first letters of different words.3. Feel the letter—children close their eyes and touch cut-out sandpaper letters on a card.
Letter and Word Recognition• ‘Look and Say’ Approach Have two or three sets of flashcards with words on them, for example, animals words, colour words, sports words. Then ask the students to find the words according to your instructions.• Phonic Approach Do the same, but ask the students to find words focused on the sounds and rhymes.• Words children already know or half-known from their mother tongue. Use the same technique but ask the students to do word groupings.
Teaching Tips for Word Recognition• Label things in the classroom, even pictures/photos that you use.• Keep sets of pictures and new words and phrases children have learnt recently in a special display area.• Let the children play at being teacher to revise the words and phrases.• Hand out wishes cards and praise cards with short phrases that children can bring home and read to their parents.
Another Reading activities• Reading a story• Reading a class story• Reading texts based on the child’s language• Reading familiar nursery rhymes or songs• Reading aloud• Silent reading
Some Reading Materials• Reading cards• Home-made books• Books for native speakers of the language• Easy readers for foreign language learners• Picture dictionaries• Books with tapes