The reading aloud moments should be a special time when students feel comfortable sitting and listening with enjoyment. The content should be of high interest and valuable to students. The reading passage should not be too long, otherwise students’ attention will wander. In fact, the teacher needs to plan the read-aloud lesson to eliminate any problem and achieve the objectives desired.
Pre-reading activities and discussion:
- Preview the reading text before the read-aloud and decide which vocabulary the students should understand, and you must pre-teach.
- If there are some illustrations accompanying the text, ask students to look at them telling you what they see.
- Write the key vocabulary on the board and present their meanings using the illustrations in the coursebook or your own drawings.
- Ask simple questions to activate what the students already know about the topic of the reading text.
Reading the text aloud:
The first reading is usually carried out by the teacher or by a tape-recorder in order to encourage normal oral reading. The teacher reads aloud while the students listen carefully. While reading, remember to:
- Pay-attention to correct pausing, whether indicated by punctuation or not.
- Read in complete phrases (not word by word).
- Adopt an appropriate speed and rhythm.
- Don’t distort pitch, stress and intonation.
- Read in a relaxed manner that is close to a native speaker’s natural speech.
- During the reading, try to keep eye contact with as many of your students as you can. Eye contact will not only give you useful information about the students’ attention level, but it will also help engage the students in the text.
- Pause during the story and point to an illustration in the coursebook to help students understand a key word or point to the pictures you drew on the board to preview the main idea of the text.
- Use facial gestures and body gestures to indicate the meaning of the words.
- Pose questions throughout the reading that enhance meaning construction and also show how readers can make sense of the text.
After-reading activities create opportunities for students to connect the reading materials to their personal lives, and help the teacher to explore the connections that the students have made. Some of these activities are as follows:
- Comprehension questions:
Ask the students one or two wh-comprehension questions, the answers to which can be taken directly from the text. Relevant question and answer practice will add variety to your reading session. Fill-in-the-gaps, true-false, correct-the-mistake questions are more questions that can be used by the teacher to check comprehension and promote understanding of the reading text.
- Student read-aloud:
Ask individual students or groups of students to read aloud the paragraphs of the reading text, one by another. Rotate the roles so that all have a chance to read a part. Encourage students to stick to stress and intonation during these readings to develop their speaking skills.
- Summarize the text:
After reading, ask students to give you the main ideas included in the text. You can invite a brilliant student to summarize the main points in the text in front of the class.
- Use the pictures:
You can use the illustrations in the coursebook or the drawings you created on the board and encourage students to talk about them using the information they listened to during the reading-aloud session.
- Write one or two paragraphs:
Removing the coursebook, ask students to work in groups and write a paragraph on the reading-aloud topic tackling the main points or just writing what they can remember. Then, ask one student from each group to read aloud what they have written.
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