#TipForTuesday: Effective Reading Practice – How to Best Use Extension Resources
After completing an assessment, it is advised to go through an extension resource, often a short fiction or non-fiction text, to assess the Bready’s reading comprehension and pronunciation and give them a dedicated time to practice.
These can go a number of ways, perhaps the Bready really enjoys the text, or they find it really challenging and try and get through it without taking in the meaning, or sometimes they find it a little boring and try to divert attention away to other matters.
Regardless of their reactions, reading is an important part of learning English and this could be a really useful time to look at what has been learnt that unit in practice.
Importantly, it should be fun! With the right planning, an extension resource lesson can be a great way for you and your Bready to explore new topics and play some games. So, here are IQBar’s top tips for getting the most out of reading practice.
If you know there will be a lot of new vocabulary in the text, introduce keywords it at the beginning so they can look out for it and put it into context.
One of the biggest problems faced when tackling one of the extension resources is Buddies disengaging when met with a lot of new vocabulary. Without understanding important key words in the text at the beginning, Breadies potentially lose the whole meaning of the passage. With this can be a loss of confidence.
One great way to introduce new vocabulary and give examples of how to use it in context is by introducing a few keywords at the beginning. Once this is covered, Breadies can then try and find it as they read through the text, giving them an aim whilst reading, and also helping them remember the new words by seeing them in context.
Introduce the story and key themes before reading it.
When given a book in a different language filled with new vocabulary and potentially new cultural references, it can be daunting trying to gauge meaning or engaging with the text.
Even from as low as CGE 1, you can begin introducing themes and ideas from the text to help the Bready understand what will be happening in the story. If you’re looking at the story Mouse’s Moon Party for instance, you can introduce the idea of a party and what you can find at a party such as balloons, cakes, etc. This makes the text more familiar when the student begins, which helps with overall understanding.
Each of the books starts with the phonic sounds that feature heavily in the text, go through these sounds to help aid your Bready’s pronunciation.
Particularly if you have a Bready with a low level of English, use this reading as a chance to practice different phonics. If your Bready is using CGE 1, it is likely they will have covered phonemes such as the short or long vowel sounds so get them to see if they can spot examples in the text. You can then see what sounds they struggle with and develop activities out of these.
Stop at the end of each page or important scene and explore what has happened, asking questions and seeing how much they have understood, explaining anything they are unsure of.
This has the obvious impact of stopping them read without understanding or thinking, which is so easy to do when reading a text in another language. It also offers up the chance to discuss your own lives and opinions in relation to what is happening in the text.
Simple question: “Busy the dog likes to wake up early! What time do you wake up and go to bed?”
Higher level: “What are some of the ways in which neighbours help out the community in this text? Does your community get together to help each other?”
Make this as relevant and interesting for your Bready as you can!
If a Bready is at a CGE 2 level or higher, ask the Bready to read the full sentence and try and work out the meaning of an unfamiliar word before getting you to tell them the meaning.
If a Bready is fairly confident with a text but gets stumped on one or two new pieces of vocabulary, get them to read the full sentences and try to work out what the word means by the context. This helps them do some self-learning, building up their independent learning skills and providing them with a sense of achievement if they get it right, rather than just being a passive learner.
Discuss the illustrations! What can they see? What are the emotions of the characters? What do they think will happen later in the story?
Aside from reading, this can help with their general description and conversation skills. Get them to take a break from the reading comprehension by looking at the pictures and seeing what is happening. This is particularly useful if the Bready is young/getting restless/or struggling with the text.
If you’ve focused on something in the unit such as the long e sound or the present continuous text, play a game to see how many examples they can find in the story.
The extension resources are colourful and full of ideas, take advantage of this and make games! Get creative! Turn this into something fun and imaginative rather than just reading from a text book. Remember the joy of reading as a child and try and show just how great books can be for Breadies too, even with the difficulties of reading in a second language!