Thursday, April 19, 2007

Steps for an ESL Reading Lesson Plan

As I mentioned yesterday, most of my ESL students are advanced English speakers and prefer to work on their English speaking skills. However, I occasionally teach English reading skills. The following is the format I use for an ESL reading lesson plan when teaching classes with more than one student. I use a modified version of this lesson plan approach when tutoring one-on-one.

Step 1: Engage the student. The purpose of engaging the ESL student is to introduce the theme or topic of the reading passage. The student can be engaged, for example, by using visuals or a “warm-up” conversation. If you use visuals, the ESL tutor can ask question like, “who do you think lives here?” The teacher should elicit responses from the students, but the majority of the talking should be done by the student(s).

Step 2: Pre-teach new vocabulary. Decide beforehand the vocabulary that is critical for the ESL learner to understand the story. Spend a little time teaching the new words or key words.

Step 3: Ask a focus question. Write a question about the reading passage. For beginning level ESL students, pick a detail about three-quarters of the way through the text. For advanced level ESL students, ask a “gist” question. This will be something that the student has to deduce from the reading.

Step 4: The student reads. Allow enough time for the ESL student to read the passage.

Step 5: Ask the student the focus question. In addition to asking the focus question, ask the student a few other questions about the reading. If the student is unable to answer the questions (and if the ESL teacher has asked appropriate questions), allow the student to reread the passage.

Step 6: Follow up with a task. The task can be oral or written. This allows the student to bring in his or her knowledge on the topic.

Step 7 (optional): Follow up with an activity. The ESL activity could be additional writing practice or speaking practice.

The ESL tutor could also use this English reading lesson plan guide to teach grammar embedded in the reading passage.

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