In my intermediate integrated skills course, I’ve started placing more emphasis on the importance of reading because it’s an excellent way to help students improve their fluency, grammar, vocabulary, and more. As someone who has learned a foreign language, I know that although reading in a new language can be motiving and exciting, it can also be challenging and frustrating. A new reading pedagogy that is growing in popularity is Reading Apprenticeship.
Reading Apprenticeship routines and practices seek to help learners develop themselves as readers through reflective metacognitive routines and a developing awareness of reading strategies. The idea is that reading isn’t a basic skill learned in grade school, but rather a complex problem-solving process that varies in difficulty with each reading, as well as a reader’s background knowledge (or lack thereof) on a given topic.
Therefore, reading instruction in a Reading Apprenticeship classroom supports students in developing their knowledge of reading and reading strategies. This particular document is an ESL reading log that incorporates Reading Apprenticeship ideas. It focuses on reading strategies, vocabulary development, and summary writing. I assign it for each chapter of the book we read in class. The first page asks students to write down some reactions to the reading and the strategies that they used to help understand it. The second page relates to new or interesting words that the student found in the chapter. This section gets students thinking about words and how they function in a context. It requires that students use the context a word is in to determine part of speech and meaning. They then write their own example sentence with the same meaning and part of speech. Although this is challenging for them at first, it’s a very useful exercise to help them think about reading strategies and vocabulary and context.
Prior to using the reading log
- Review parts of speech with students.
- Introduce the idea of reading strategies and brainstorm a list of them with the class.
- Discuss the idea of inferences. This is something I have noticed that they find difficult at first.
Introducing the reading log to the class
- Go over each part of the log with the class.
- Use the review slides to help students practice the vocabulary chart.
- Practice in class with students. I usually have students work in groups to try and fill out the chart.
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