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Assessing Reading Skills
Can your student:
Read aloud fluently, with no difficulties in pronunciation?
Find the main idea?
Read for specific information?
Summarize what has been read?
Activate and use prior knowledge?
Understand and use new words?
Understand text read silently?
Tips for Teaching Reading
Remember to consider your studentís interests and goals when planning any kind of lesson and when choosing teaching materials.
Help build your studentís background Information by reading and discussing interesting news articles.
If your student has children, encourage him/her to read to them. Discuss the importance of letting children see their parents reading.
Model what good readers do. (We donít complete worksheets! We do talk about books and other things weíve read!)
Encourage silent reading.
Spend time in our library and become an expert on books at your studentís level.
Talk about the strategies that good readers use: drawing conclusions, finding the main idea, reading for specific information,
sequencing material, making predictions, understanding text organization, summarizing.
Encourage reading outside of the lessons.
Many of the lesson ideas on this site make use of "manipulative letters"; these could be magnetic letters like the ones
that might be on your fridge, or "Scrabble" letter tiles, or ones you make yourself with a marking pen and card stock.
Include Word Recognition, Vocabulary Instruction, Fluency Practice and Comprehension Strategies in every lesson (Details).
We recommend the Language Experience Approach, as described in your
training textbook, Teaching Adults: A Literacy Resource Book, pp. 45-50.
Tips for Teaching Writing
Struggling writers tend to focus on the mechanics of writing rather than the ideas they are trying to express.
As the tutor, you need to initially focus on reading the studentís writing versus evaluating it. Later when the
student is more fluent will be a better time to focus on writing conventions such as spelling and punctuation.
Many students are very reluctant to write anything, let alone a complete essay. Start small and provide lots of topic suggestions - see
When students write about a topic that they know and care about, their motivation and ownership increase.
Encourage your student to write frequently and regularly - see Journal Writing.
Have your student read his writing aloud to you, and give positive feedback. Use the
Writer's Feedback Guide as a starting point.
If you need help teaching writing, Steck-Vaughnís GED Essay has an excellent step-by-step process that students seem to really like