7 Steps to Teach Reading, From Beginning to Reading Comprehension

Step 1: Teach the sounds of individual letters:

Students need to be taught the individual sounds in words and that words are made up of small parts of sound and phonemes. Recognizing individual sounds and understanding the relationship between letters and spoken sounds (phonics) create phonemic awareness.

Be sure to emphasize ending sounds as well as the more obvious beginning sounds. Listening for ending sounds is sometimes overlooked, yet it is very important.

Step 2: Teach sound blends:

Sound blends such as st, fl, dr, sh, etc should be emphasized on as well as digraphs such as ch, ck, ph. These letters together form distinct sounds or phonemes.

Step 3: Teach whole words:

Whole-word recognition or word identification is made up of being able to use sound-symbol relationships. This is an important skill that is worth the time spent to master. Word families- bat, cat, pat, sat, etc. are important in this stage. Vowels should require special attention in this stage, especially when distancing between short /i/ and short /e/ (As in /pit/ and /pet/) throughout the whole-word reading process.

We learn some sight words incidentally or in the course of everyday life. Certain words are just recognized by their appearance and EFL students can recognize and appear to “read” signs and advertisements, such as Brand Names such as NIKE, Pepsi, etc.

Here are some materials you can use to promote the developing EFL students’ identification of sight words:

  • Word games such as matching and word search games.
  • Flashcards or reader books with plenty of sight words.
  • Picture dictionaries.
  • Rhymes and entertaining poetry.

Step 4: Present meanings:

Be sure that students know the meaning of each word they read. You can use a lot of techniques to present the meanings such as drawings, pictures, miming, etc. Don’t forget to check the understanding of the meanings frequently. Be sure that students can discriminate the variations in meaning as well as go over words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.

Step 5: Teach word parts:

It is important to teach word parts: prefixes, root words, suffixes, and derivations of words. When students know these parts, they will be able to understand more words. For example, when an elementary school student knows the meaning of “bed” and the meaning of “room”, they will understand easily the meaning of “bedroom”.

Step 6: Put words in contexts:

Encouraging students to put each word in a context is a powerful strategy. The student who can use words in sentences can demonstrate a mastery of reading and language usage as well.

Step 7: Teach reading comprehension:

Teaching reading comprehension is essential to achieve the enjoyment of reading or reading for pleasure and for understanding informational text. Several important techniques to check reading comprehension can be use. You can ask students to:

  • retell, summarize, or paraphrase what is read.
  • make inferences or draw conclusions.
  • sequence events.
  • compare and contrast, etc.

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