Effective Reading Instruction in ESL

Reading Instruction in the ESL classroom can be daunting. How do we know the students are actually reading, how do we know they are improving? We need to have a way to monitor our students reading and their comprehension when they are reading.

I use two things in my classroom to monitor my student's reading, Reading Logs and Conferencing. My reading logs look like this:

My students are required to fill out their Reading Logs every time they read, which is twice a day, I tell them that this is their way to keep track of their reading. Each day they need to be read between 45 - 60 minutes each day. Every week I check their reading logs and make sure that they are reading, but that is not enough.

During conferencing is when I get to see if my students are truly reading and if they really understand what they are reading? Everyday I give my students time to read independently in class, they read between 15 - 20 minutes each day. During Independent Reading, I conference with 8 to 12 students each day. By the end of the week I have conferenced with each student at least 2 times.

During the conferences, I look at my student's reading logs and ask them questions about the books they are reading. I am also looking to see if my students are reading and if they understand what they are reading. If I ask a students what did you read about last night and they cannot tell me, there are only two possibilities ... 1) they did not read or 2) they did not understand. It is my job to determine which possibility is applicable to that student. Also during conferences, this is a good time to adjust your students reading levels and give them new books to try.

Take advantage of the time when your students are reading independently, conference with your students and make sure they are using their reading logs. This will help you monitor their reading frequency and comprehension.


Nafis said...

As a student, how can I be a better reader?
I read newspapers and some passages every day,but there is always some points that I do not understand.
I also read some reading strategies which tell me how to comprehend better, but I can not use them properly while reading .
What do you recommend?

Melissa said...

There are a few things you can do to become a better reader.
1) Read things that are interesting to you.
2) When you read think to ourself what is this paragraph mostly about.
3) Find 3 words in the article that you are reading and make those your words for the week. Find the definition, use them when you speak.
4) To learn a new word you need to read/use the word 7-10 times.
5) Read with a friend and talk about what you read. This will help you comprehend what you are reading.

Just remember, reading comprehension comes with practice. You are reading my blog and responding, this is helping your reading comprehension. The more you read and speak in English the better you will become. How many years have you been studying English? Keep up the good work, if you have any other questions just ask!

Nafis said...

Hi dear Melissa,

Thank you so much for the valuable tips for reading.Those are really helpful and I needed to know them.
I have been studying English very seriously for two years,but I studied English since I was in Elementary School.The methods were very different at that time from what I am studying todays.They taghut us much more Grammar and Reading.So, I have really good Grammar basis in English.In reading, they always emphasized to learn new vocabularies and we always had to carry a Dictionary.We had to know every word in readings that we could understand the main idea.
In my opinion, those were not practical.That is why I have difficulty in comprehension. But, I really liked to learn English and understood the English books, magazines, songs and etc.I tried to read even if I do not know the vocabularies.I have continued this method until now and I think I am better in English than my friends.But, I really want to be very well in reading and I stick to what you told me.Again, thanks a lot for the priceless guidance.