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chloe098 Jul 27th, 2021 11:46 am

Challenges faced in teaching reading
Hi everyone!

I am a teacher volunteering at a community centre that provides free reading classes for underserved students. I would like to find out more about how we can partner with teachers in school to better support each child's reading development.

Being a teacher myself, some of the challenges that I've encountered are lack of time and resources, parent indifference and some students tend not to be motivated to read.

Your responses will be of great help to us!

1. What are some of the challenges in teaching reading?

and if you have any solutions,

2. What are some ways that you've tried to overcome those challenges? Did they work well? What did you not like about those solutions?

Some background info:
1. Mix ability: Most speak a different language at home but still have a low English proficiency (their first language usually differs from English grammatically e.g. tagalog, mandarin)
2. Most who come are between 5 to 9 years old
3. There are school-based additional programs for these students to help them develop phonetic awareness but not much more to propel them even further to handle more challenging texts which may require higher order thinking.

susan53 Jul 28th, 2021 03:40 am

Re: Challenges faced in teaching reading
Are you working with children whose first language is English (or who are already bilingual) or with children with a different first language and low English proficiency? If so, what are their first languages? How old are they? Early primary, late primary or early secondary? What country are you in and what's the usual approach there to developing literacy in general ?

chloe098 Jul 28th, 2021 12:47 pm

Re: Challenges faced in teaching reading
Hi Susan! Thank you for your reply! I've updated my post to provide more background info. :)

susan53 Jul 29th, 2021 05:11 am

Re: Challenges faced in teaching reading
Sorry - I've checked but can't see anything. I suppose it would be in the box "Additional information" but it just says "N/A" which I presume means "not available".

In the meantime I've thought of another couple of questions :
Do you work one on one with the kids, or with groups - if so of what size?
Do you liaise at all with their state school teachers?

susan53 Aug 2nd, 2021 09:09 am

Re: Challenges faced in teaching reading
Sorry - I misread your message as "I've updated my profile" rather than "my post" - which is why I couldn't find anything. Don't have time now I'm afraid, but will get back to you.

susan53 Aug 3rd, 2021 02:42 am

Re: Challenges faced in teaching reading
I'm afraid that there's no one simple solution here as the children are of different ages (and therefore at different stages cognitively) and are mixed ability in terms of language proficiency. In addition, what is expected by the school in each age group will be different. For instance, if you are in the UK, none of the 5 year old children, whether native speaker or ESOL pupils, will know how to read and write and this will be being actively taught to all of them. What will hold back the ESOL pupils will not be their problems with reading but their problems with the language. They may not understand the words in the books and other materials used; they may not understand what the teacher says.

At 9 however, it's a different matter as the teachers of those classes will expect the learners to be proficient readers/writers already, and the ESOL children will have not only the language problem but also (possibly) the problems of dealing with an unknown script, the problems of dealing with the cognitive demands of the tasks set when they don't understand the texts etc.

The strategies that you use will therefore, of necessity, have to be differentiated - there's no one simple solution. Can I suggest the following two books? You'll find them and other related books on Google Books - see this page which allows you to "Look Inside" , see the Contents page and read a few chunks of the text. They're both by Walpole and McKenna and are called:
1. Differentiated Reading Instruction : Strategies for the Primary Grades
2. How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3 (Solving Problems in the Teaching of Literacy)[/url] (There's another similar one for Grades 4 and 5).

There's not much on the web, but if you google Differentiated Reading Instruction Primary a couple of articles will also come up.

chloe098 Aug 5th, 2021 11:04 am

Re: Challenges faced in teaching reading
Hi Susan,

Thank you for the extremely useful insight! I'll check out the books :)

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