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TIE (Tanzania Institute of Education)
Ways for Teaching Reading for Pupils
Literacy teaching and learning are core responsibilities of teachers and schools. Yet teaching reading and writing is a complex and highly skilled professional activity. Many young learners start school with little knowledge about how to read and write. Teachers are tasked with helping children to bridge the significant gap between linking their written and spoken language.
Here are 5 strategies you can use to support your students in developing their reading skills and boosting comprehension.
1. Read aloud to students
Read-aloud regularly in the classroom and encourage parents to do the same at home. Reading aloud has many benefits for students, including improving comprehension, building listening skills, and broadening their vocabulary development.
2. Practice Shared Reading
While you read with your child, consider asking them to repeat words or sentences back to you every now and then while you follow along with your finger.
There’s no need to stop your reading time completely if your child struggles with a particular word. An encouraging reminder of what the word means or how it’s pronounced is plenty!
Another option is to split reading aloud time with your child. For emerging readers, you can read one line and then ask them to read the next. For older children, reading one page and letting them read the next page is beneficial.
Doing this helps your child feel capable and confident, which is important for encouraging them to read well and consistently!
3. Read texts repeatedly to support fluency
Allow students to read the same texts multiple times. By doing this, they not only build fluency but also build confidence. The more confident they become in their reading skills, the more likely they will enjoy reading.
4. Teach children the tools to figure out words they don’t know
Teaching students to read for the ultimate goal of producing independent readers begins by explicitly teaching the code we use to decode words.
5. Focus On Letter Sounds Over Letter Names
We used to learn that “b” stands for “ball.” But when you say the word ball, it sounds different than saying the letter B on its own. That can be a strange concept for a young child to wrap their head around!
Instead of focusing on letter names, we recommend teaching them the sounds associated with each letter of the alphabet. For example, you could explain that B makes the /b/ sound (pronounced just like it sounds when you say the word ball aloud).
Once they firmly establish a link between a handful of letters and their sounds, children can begin to sound out short words. Knowing the sounds for B, T, and A allows a child to sound out both bat and tab.