Here are strategies for teaching reading so that the next time your students are tackling a text, you can rely on these ideas. I have ten to share to support you in your teaching of reading to Novices.
- Choose an accessible text. For this post I will refer to a text that I used in the first few months, La langue français dans le monde. Look for simple, short texts with images, good use of color and italics or bolding to bring out meaning. Prioritize maps, infographics, lists, ads and labeled images.
- Give students a paper copy to read and write on or have them on their devices open the reading in an application like Notability that allows them to mark it up.
- Start by previewing the topic. Ask students their personal opinions or their own practices related to the theme.
- Define some of the most relevant words you think the students won’t know and read out loud to students the key parts of the text from slides with bolded words that will help with overall meaning.
- Remind students of their reading strategies in their first language. Ask them to look for clues in the title, pictures and cognates and remind them to use the context.
- Continue by having them reread the whole reading in pairs to discuss and puzzle through it.
- As the teacher, I walk around to check in with my students. I allow them to ask vocabulary questions and when they do I put translations on the board for all to see.
- Tell students that they are reading for the general idea. Beginning readers need to learn that they don’t need to understand every word, but instead to get the idea.
- Ask if one student can help the class understand by stating the general idea of the text in French. Ask students questions that check for comprehension.
- Make connections with the reading. In this case I showed a video with a lot of images and little text. Students saw the names, flags and some images of different Francophone countries. Then I asked them to tell me something they observed and to say whether it was something they knew already or new to them. Make sure to bring out the cultural and justice ideas by asking students to make connections.
Example of readings that was rewritten to be Novice: