Is This Text Comprehensible for my ELLs? Let the Vocabulary Profiler Help!

Using authentic texts with English learners is great…

…unless, of course, they are way too hard for the students.

This is actually one of the top challenges for teachers in content-based language teaching (CBLT) systems, finding texts that are both authentic and comprehensible.

In a study on CBLT teachers, Cammarata (2010) commented, “The difficulty for the teachers was to find the right equilibrium between authenticity and complexity as they struggled to find a way to simplify the content in order to make it comprehensible for the students while keeping it interesting, cognitively engaging, and within the realm of the proficiency level of the learners (Cammarata, 2010, pp. 102-103).

But how do we know if the text we have chosen will be appropriate? That’s where the vocabulary profiler on VocabKitchen.com can help.

Continue reading “Is This Text Comprehensible for my ELLs? Let the Vocabulary Profiler Help!”

Encouraging Students to Read

How does a student get better at reading?

Simply put…by reading.

Plenty of research supports the idea that extensive reading leads to better reading and language growth, but many kids just aren’t doing enough reading.

It’s our jobs as teachers to encourage our students to read. But the big question is how?

In this post, I will offer a few ideas to help create a community of avid readers in your classroom.

Continue reading “Encouraging Students to Read”

What is a Reading Portfolio?

Learning to read is a journey.

Take a moment to think back to your school days. What evidence do you have of that special journey?

A test? A book report? Maybe a diorama?

Perhaps you answered yes to all of those, but how meaningful were these to you?

(I know…your diorama was the bomb…got it)

And did you ever set them all out at the end of the year to reflect on and celebrate the journey?

I suspect both questions would elicit negative answers (except for the diorama…I know).

So how can we as teachers create meaningful reading experiences for our students that give them an opportunity to look back on the journey and reflect on the success and celebrate it?

One possible way is a reading portfolio.

Continue reading “What is a Reading Portfolio?”

Notice & Note Applied to Oxford Bookworms

In EFL reading classes, a lot of instruction time is dedicated to vocabulary development and reading comprehension.

And that is where it often stops.

While many feel that it is sufficient for EFL students to only be able to read and understand the meaning, I feel we should go beyond this surface-level understanding and encourage our students to think deeper about the texts, even at a beginner proficiency level (CEFR A1/A2).

One novel method of going deeper in a text is Beers & Probst’s Notice & Note. Continue reading “Notice & Note Applied to Oxford Bookworms”