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Tips to help struggling readers

Often, it is assumed that a student is able to read a school text well. Frequently, students are expected to understand all the readings assigned too. It can be a mistake to make this assumption. No matter the child’s age, taking time to clarify the content, specifically the vocabulary and its proper usage, is often a good use of time. There are several efficient ways to do this, but two strategies are favored. First, provide reading tips while reading and secondly, provide some choice in the material being read.

Provide tips and hints while reading to help students’ reading comprehension.
While most people besides English teachers would not want to devote lots of time to reading comprehension, it is reasonable to assume that taking a few moments to go over subject specific vocabulary and provide some time to clarify greatly benefits the students. Implementing reading comprehension strategies in every area of study does not mean giving up on learning content. For example, it’s possible to find science or math based articles that are on topic and relevant. It is a good use of time to read an article on mathematics because it will help develop a well-rounded understanding of the content and help build reading skills.

Students learn more when they are reading about topics they enjoy.
Most students love having some say regarding what they learn about and also what they read. Any teacher, parent, or tutor can provide opportunities for students to read on their own something that interests them, perhaps from a short list of readings related to the class content, and then submit an assignment or assessment over that selection. Providing this little bit of choice can go a long way to building self-esteem in a reader of any age. Finally, to make all of this stick, consider developing an activity or assignment that would allow the student to showcase what they are learning, connect it to their world or to any previous knowledge they have on the subject. The exact benchmarks may change over a child’s education, but developing confidence in reading will always be beneficial, no matter the direction the student may choose to take his or her educational career.

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