It’s all about reading

libraryThis month, Let’s Share is all about reading.

Reading is arguably the most important skill we can help our students develop. While we assume that speaking and listening will be important in our students’ future lives and careers, we don’t honestly have any idea how much opportunity they’ll have to talk to other people in English. Being able to read in English, however, opens windows to the world. All of our students will have access to the Internet, and English is likely to remain the lingua franca online for the foreseeable future. Not being able to read in English limits our students to only that small part of the Web that is in their native language.

Since reading skill depends on developing a strong oral foundation first, speaking and listening remain essential skills.

I’m no expert on teaching literacy, but I think I’ve learned a few things about teaching reading during my years in the classroom. I wrote about principles that guide my teaching in this blog post for Oxford University Press ELT Global Blog. I’d love to hear about your views, too. My ideas about teaching reading are always evolving.

On March 23rd, I’ll be doing a webinar for OUP about teaching reading in every class. There are still plenty of places available, but if you are interested in attending (or just want to get the recording afterward) I encourage you to sign up soon. Registration closes once all of the seats are filled, and last time I know that there were people who were unable to join us. If you register and attend, you’ll receive a nice Oxford University Press professional development certificate. If the time zone doesn’t work for you, you’ll still receive the recording by email.

Finally, I’m not sure how many of you are aware of the Teaching Village Wiki. I started it mostly as a place to keep resources, articles, and books that I find useful in my own research. There are some nice resources on the Reference Shelf page about teaching reading, and I’ll be adding more as I prepare for next week’s webinar.

I’m looking forward to hearing more about your own experiences teaching reading — here, on the OUP blog, and at the webinar!



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3 Responses

  1. Marisa Pavan says:

    Great post, Barb! I’m convinced that reading has a lot of advantages and do my best for students to develop reading skills so I offer them plenty of opportunities for them to practise extensive and intensive reading.

    A reading technique I learnt some time ago and that has proved helpful for my students was to make them read a text with a pencil in their hands and to ask them to write while reading anything that comes to their mind. It’s interesting to see the connections they’re able to make while reading. I think it’s a way of making them aware of the mental process.


  2. Rose Bard says:

    Thank you so much for this post Barbara. Literacy is one of my main interests and I think I have never given the right attention in my classes when comes to English teaching cause the norm is speaking & listening and time is short. Students also don’t like reading, but I want to develop myself on how to work with it more effectively in my classes and encourage students to read more. The power of stories seems really to be an amazing way to engage and promote learning, right? Last year I worked with picture prompts from an idea that we can find in Teaching Grammar Creatively and a very short story really got their interest. I also used from One stop English the series they have on readers and listening activities. But I still think I should use it as part of the program, but don’t know how.

    Just registered for the webinar. Thanks so much! And I will check out the wiki too. :)

  1. March 16, 2013

    […] This month, Let’s Share is all about reading. Reading is arguably the most important skill we can help our students develop. While we assume that speaking and listening will be important in o…  […]