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Teaching of Reading and Writing Skills in the

Primary ESL Classroom (TSLB3073)

Week 1 (13.06.2016)

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What is Reading?
 "Reading" is the process of looking at a series of
written symbols and getting meaning from them.
 When we read, we use our eyes to receive written
symbols (letters, punctuation marks and spaces) and
we use our brain to convert them into words, sentences
and paragraphs that communicate something to us.
 Reading can be silent (in our head) or aloud (so that
other people can hear).

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Approaches to Teach Reading
 Phonics
 Sight word
 Reading aloud
 Whole language
 Language experience

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Our Agenda
Sight word

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 A commonly used technique to teach students to read
is the phonics approach.
 Emphasizes the individual components of words. For
example, the word cat is spelled with three letters, c, a,
and t, each representing a phoneme, respectively, /k/,
/œ/ and /t/.
 The phonics based approach involves three basic
 Children need explicit instruction in the rules of
phonics and printed text in order to learn to read.
 Children are taught spelling-sound relationships.
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PHASE 1: Introduction to letters and
their sounds

 The child is taught to recognise the name of each letter

in sequence.
 Example: a, b, c, d …. z.
 Then, the child is taught the sound of each letter.
Example, the letter ‘a’ is represented by the sound /a/.
 The child is taught the name and sound of each letter.

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PHASE 2: Joining consonants and
vowels to form syllables
 The child is shown how to combine consonants and
vowels to form syllables.
 Example: ba bi bu be bo
 The child is taught to read the syllables and write out
the syllables in their exercise book.

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PHASE 3: Read and write simple
 The teacher writes simple sentences. The child reads
and writes the sentences. Example: Ali opens the book.
Ali reads the book.
 The child is given written exercises. The child also
begins to read short and simple stories.

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 It teaches children to use the relationships
to read and write words.
 Is an “analytical” approach where pupils
analyse the letters, letter combination and
syllables in a word.
 Focus on sound–spelling relationship so
that young readers can come up with the
 Children are made to recite meaningless tongue-
 Children merely chant mindlessly without really
understanding what they are saying.

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Why Teach Phonics?
Phonics helps all learners.
 Good readers spell better with phonics instruction.
 Many children, even good readers, read more
effectively with explicit, systematic phonics
 Phonetic knowledge is especially important for
beginning readers, poor readers, or “at risk”
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Sight Word
 Words that appear so often in a text that readers are able to
read by sight without having to decode them.
 Knowing these high frequency words are extremely
important skills for reading fluency.
 In order to read well, children need to read sight words very
quickly. Remembering the sight words is necessary.
 They are common words that children have heard and said
 “Look and say” approach
 A connection between meaning with visual representation

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Sight Word
 12 words (a, an, he, I, in, is, it, of, that, the, to,
was) constitute about 25% of all the texts children
 Grammar words (articles, prepositions,
pronouns, adjectives, adverbs).
 Names of common people, things, places, actions

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Sight Word
 Requires students to remember whole words rather
than individual sounds.
 Students learn to recognise words through repeated
exposure without direct attention to sub-word parts.
 Students can look at a word which the teacher sounds
and in turn repeat the sound (the word).
 Thus, they can learn by reading the same words over
and over again.

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Sight Word
 Can be taught by slides or flashcards with individual
words written on them.
 Each word is then accompanied with a related picture.
 In this way, students are taught to associate the whole
word with its meaning.
 Strength: easy to teach and pleasant for students.
 Limitation: students do not naturally learn to spell or
write unless explicitly taught because they may not
have learnt to pronounce words phonetically.

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s t
ship television

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Benefits: Sight words are confidence
 When a child can easily recognize over half of a
sentence, they typically possess the confidence to
attempt to read it.
 If a child can instantly recognize more than half, he is
not overwhelmed.
 Knowledge of these words greatly assists in
understanding the meaning of a sentence. For
example, the ability to quickly read and understand
the meaning of the pronouns “I” and “you” is essential
in comprehending many sentences.

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Sight Words Assist in the Decoding Process

 When a child can open a book and recognize over half

of the text, they can shift their focus to decoding the
more challenging words.
 When a child needs to decode each word in a sentence,
they become easily frustrated.
 In addition, they quickly lose the meaning of the text.
The challenge shifts to the individual words and not on
the sentence as a whole. As a result, the ability to
recognize sight words improves reading

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Tutorial Task
 What are the main features of each approach
 Identify a suitable age group for readers of each
approach. Justify your answer.
 Why do you think it is necessary to review the
approaches in preparing reading lessons?
 Design an activity for each approach to teach reading.

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 Fry, E.B., Ph.D. & Kress, J.E., Ed.D. (2006). The Reading
Teacher’s Book of Lists 5th Edition. San Francisco, CA:
Jossey Bass.
 Vaugh, S & Linan-Thompson, S (2004). Research-
Based Methods of Reading Instruction. Alexandria, VA:

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