Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This informative article was written by Dorit Sasson.

More primary school teachers are using read-alouds to teach reading.
Read-alouds also provide a springboard for oral instruction.

Elementary teachers, especially those teaching young ELLs (English
Language Learners), are hungry for learning how to teach reading.
Teachers can use read alouds to teach letter-sound correspondences,
words, sentences, and eventually, other stories.

Oral Instruction and Read-Alouds

Oral instruction enhances the process of early literacy by providing
direct explicit instruction on reading, thinking and learning
strategies, word and meaning recognition, and early reading skills.
While every teacher's approach to oral work differs, the principles
for strengthening an at-risk performance in the early stages of a
read-aloud remain the same.

Identifying the Type of Read-Alouds

Teachers begin by identifying the type of read-aloud (expository or
narrative) and how much oral work will be done prior to the read-
aloud. As the teacher reads the story, s/he encourages students to
predict. Non-verbal clues such as gestures, and verbal clues such as
pictures, help facilitate the process of reading the story aloud.
Discussing vocabulary is an important linking stage between hearing
words and seeing them in their contexts before students have the
necessary reading skills to acquire vocabulary independently.

Teaching Vocabulary

Using the popular read-aloud Bear Snores On, [Karma Wilson, 2003] the
teacher presents new vocabulary by showing the cover. and asks "Who
is 'snoring'?"

While reading the story, teacher refers to the word snoring using
guiding questions: "Where is the bear snoring?" "Who comes into the
cave when bear is snoring?"

Building Emerging Literacy Skills

The look-read-say method (otherwise known as the whole word approach)
helps ELLs learn early decoding and early reading according to word
patterns which were previously introduced in the read-aloud. It is up
to the teacher to choose 4-6 target vocabulary that can be explicitly
taught from sound and meaning.

Stage 1: the teacher presents the word in a sentence strip.
Stage 2: The teacher says: "The word X sounds like Y."
Stage 3: ELLs hear the pattern.
Stage 4: Students say the word and spell out the word.
Predicting the contents of a read-aloud is an important pre-reading
technique. It should follow the vocabulary presentation stage. ELLs
with limited oral vocabulary can supply a few words. Later, they can
confirm their predictions in terms of plot, characters, and story
sequence. Modeling predictions provide discussions from which student
predictions play a crucial role.

Read-alouds represent an appropriate oral language program suitable
for the language learning development of early literacy and second
language learners. The read-aloud is not completely an oral
experience. Teachers should connect the oral experiences with early
reading components of early literacy

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Linda Ballou said...

Thank you Kathy for your support.
Linda Ballou

educationtipster by author Kathy Stemke said...

Your welcome, Linda.