Try This Reading Technique -- for all language groups

While I am working with a Speech Therapist and a member of a University's ESL Faculty to put together more suggestions that can help with the teaching of ESL to your newly adopted child, I wanted to make 1 suggestion now that can help you as you read aloud to your child. Here is the technique:
(TO MY EUROPEAN READERS: I found research that shows Dutch speaking children have similar issues to those learning ESL. We might assume, therefore, that children learning other languages -- particualrly those very different from Spanish -- Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic, Finnish, Danish, German, etc. would suffer from similar language proficiency problems. So, you can try using this technique as well).

Step #1:

Read the title and look at the pictures. Label pictures that your child cannot name. The talk about or predict what the story is about.

Step #2:

Read 1 page or 1 paragraph, then stop and ask a question about the content. Once child answers, model the correct answer in a short simple sentence.

Step #3:

Continue Step #2 until the story is complete.

Step #4:

Then go back and ask the same questions (reword if possible) and again model the answer.

Another thing you can do is talk about the pictures on each page prior to reading. Help fill in vocabulary gaps by supplying the words. You can ask questions like: What is happening in this picture? What is he wearing? What is he wearing on his neck? Using this technique I discovered my son did not know the word for mittens or scarf. Once you see a vocabulary word that the child does not know, try to use the word over and over again. "Oh look, he is still wearing a scarf." "In this picture, what is he still wearing on his neck?" Then later, use the word in another context. Perhaps go through your closet and find a scarf. "Look, what is this?" Your right, it is a scarf. Do you want to put on the scarf?


Mary said…
Great advice! I realized when reading this I've been intuitively reading to younger children this way. I can almost see the little wheels turning in their head as they're thinking about the words, pictures and context of the stories and then making connections or trying to anticipate what's next. Very cool.
Diane said…
I am the author of the article that you referenced in your comments. If you would like more information about the research my e-mail is .

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