Strategies for Helping Struggling Readers to Read
This is from Imagine Learning who turned to Ann Lodgson, a school psychologist who specializes in helping parents and teachers help struggling students. I especially like her idea of using your TV’s closed caption option; how easy yet brilliant is that? I also noticed that even cartoons have decent vocabulary because I catch my 5-year-old using phrases or words that sound sophisticated. Then I’d ask him how he knew the word or phrase and he’d name the cartoon. Click here for entire article.
Here are her 5 strategies:
1. Pair books with audio books
Many libraries have both printed and audio versions of books. Check them out and have your child follow the words in the printed book as the audio book plays. Or, have your child read a chapter, then listen to the chapter on tape. *You can request audio books through your local library. Often they have access to a centralized audio library for the School for the Blind which will have an extensive collection. (I learned all about this from a New Jersey Librarian at KidLitCon 2010 who runs the School for the Blind Library in New Jersey).
2. Use your television’s closed caption feature
Turn on closed captioning on your TV or a favorite DVD. Following the captions can help your child improve sight word vocabulary while also helping him or her get a better feel for the way both written and spoken language flows.
3. Create your own books on tape
Research shows that kids’ reading skills improve when they listen to themselves read. Have your child read a book into a voice recorder and then listen to the recording. Kids can record stories and listen to their recordings in several of Imagine Learning English’s activities. *If you are interested in audio books or in recording your own audio books, see my post on the Ripple Reader.
4. Read together as a family
Set aside a half hour every evening just for family reading. Family members can read individually and then talk about what they read, or they can take turns reading to each other from the same book.
5. Adapt reading materials to your child’s reading level
If your child struggles to read the materials required to learn subject matter at school, read the material yourself and help your child with the meaning and pronunciation of new words. Demonstrate how to look up new words and help your reader through difficult passages. If your child has a disability, check with your school district or library for CD versions of textbooks or for text readers that can be used on your home computer.