One of Max’s greatest struggles in his academic work is his reading literacy. Not only does he lack comprehension and fluency as evidenced by his reading sample, he also admits that he does not enjoy reading, especially in English. In order for Max to be successful in school, he will need to improve his reading skills, so the following strategies and activities are designed to assist him through this process.
To assist Max with his fluency, the neurological impress method may be useful (Flood, Lapp, & Fisher, 2005). For this strategy, a proficient reader would work with Max, reading along with him just behind his right ear at a slightly faster pace and louder volume. The instructor would use his or her finger to track their place and model appropriate fluency and expression. As his literacy grows, the lead should gradually be shifted to Max. To check comprehension, the instructor can ask questions about the material after they finish.
Max does not struggle much with reading the words on the page, so he would be most benefited from content reading strategies (Peregoy & Boyle, 2008). Some things that must be considered when teaching any ELL are vocabulary and background knowledge. Before embarking on a new reading assignment, Max’s instructor should spend time assessing his current reading skills as we have. Then, time should be invested in teaching key vocabulary and building background knowledge.
Additionally, Max also needs to clearly understand his purpose for reading the material so he knows how to comprehend it. Teachers can use prereading strategies to help Max acquire the needed vocabulary and background knowledge. Some of these strategies include playing a game, making a graphic organizer, or using an anticipation guide. In an anticipation guide, students predict what is going to happen in a story (Peregoy & Boyle, 2008). After the reading, students go back over the anticipation guide to see if they answered correctly. This strategy prepares students for what they’re about to read and gives them motivation to find out if they’re predictions were correct.
Max also needs his teachers to monitor his comprehension throughout the reading. This can be done by using question strategies that will eventually help Max develop self-questioning strategies so he can check for comprehension himself. This could include discussing headings and subheadings while reading expository texts. Peregoy and Boyle (2008) also suggest using clustering to develop English learners vocabulary by teaching them to guess a word’s meaning by context clues. Teachers can do this by letting students read the sentence but cover the key vocabulary word with a piece of paper. The teacher then asks students what word they think could go in the blank where the paper is. For example, the sentence might be “The horse _________ quickly down the lane.” Some of the students guesses might be “ran” “trotted” “walked,” the teacher then reveals the word is “galloped.” The students now know how to use the word in a sentence and synonyms of the word.
According to Peregoy and Boyle (2008), one strategy that helps reinforce concepts and key vocabulary is a semantic map feature analysis. This strategy involves making a list of categories or concepts within a text and then list and analyzing the key key traits or parts within the concept. For example if one key concept was a dog, key traits would be four legs, fur, lives on land, and mammal. Finally, the teacher and student create a graphic organizer of the information. Seeing the relationships and traits of concepts visually helps to solidify the information in the students’ minds and helps them see the relationships between concepts.
Using context enriched topics is a strategy that allows students to use their own experiences to show their knowledge about certain topics. This allows students that have differing cultural backgrounds to draw upon their own experiences to create a meaningful written assignment. These writing assignments can easily be created from traditional writing assignments by modifying them slightly to allow students to create something new based off of what they already know.