Tuesday, May 18, 2010

EFL shared reading

I wonder why EFL institutions do not use shared reading techniques as it is used in an ESL environment.
Maybe the answer to this question revolves around the idea that most EFL schools teach reading and writing in the target language only when the children can read and write in their mother tongue, not to mention how hard it is to find a book that matches the learning points we have to address in our thight schedule constrains. We work with course books instead, we teachers have to do our best to contextualize pieces of vocabulary and keep students engaged.
We all agree that learning to read is a critical step in a child's education. But teaching children to read is controversial. I don't think EFL schools should do it,but we could reinforce many reading strategies that shared reading techniques facilitate.
I have had the pleasure of working for Patricia Machado of the Sequoia Foundation who was recently nominated the business woman of the year.
The Sequoia Foundation brings shared reading into practice. This amazing foundation uses great quality books and works on sharpening public school teachers' teaching skills. They help by making reading a possibility to underpriviledged communities in Brazil. Kids who many times didn't have a single book to read at home and no reading habits of any kind in their families.
I could see for myself the advantages of share reading with students - their enthusiasm and excitment. This is used to... This verb tense bothers me... No longer... I have moved. But have seen how it works and being a mother of three, one thing I know... Kids love books! I have to read them to my students and use some of the strategies I have learned just because I believe them.
What is shared reading?
It is exactly what it sounds like. Students and teacher sit comfortably sharing the reading responsability.
Why share read?
You can teach concepts of print or phonemic awareness, you can also promote opportunity for boosting oral langage during a "book talk". Teachers can work on reading fluency and vocabulary acquisition in context. Students are more engaged. Children love stories!
An EFL shared reading web2.0 project
I have been writing my own e-books to share read. I started a wiki offering resources and inviting illustrators and EFL teachers to join me.
Paper books are much better, but I don't have them at hand and there are web2.0 that make writing a graded book a real possibility for me. I am aware that there are sites that do exactly this, but you have to pay for the books.... God knows I wish I could!
Here is a sample book and a video of some students reading one of the books I wrote. Enjoy!
You can enlarge and download the book on the site...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dani

    Thank you for all your inspiring posts with so many fabulous tools and great ideas!

    Best wishes