How to help students with texts beyond their level

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How to help students with texts beyond their level

Post by [email protected] » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:15 pm

Hi !
I am a tutoring a high school student from Thailand, who has around 4 years of English language instruction. He is bright, conversationally apt, and completely mainstreamed into his highschool. He receives no more ELD instruction, except for his 2 hours a week with me.

He clearly needs to be around texts both suitable ad challenging for his level ( which is close to 6th grade) , yet during our time spent together, I am responsible for aiding him with his homework-- which is turning out to be impossible. He brings back articles filled with advanced jargon and concepts well suited to a native english speaker but extremely difficult for my student.

Many of our classes have been reading these types of articles, while trying to implement scanning and other comprehension strategies.

Basically-- I would entirely like to focus on bolstering his reading level with suitable texts, not playing havoc with it. Yet, he brings me his homework, and it just seems wrong not to help.

Does anyone have any strategies or ideas of how to help a student face off with a text that they know is beyond their reach-- yet need to read?

Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:19 pm

I used to take the text and write it in simpler language and with straightforward sentences - subject, verb right through. You could do it with him and print it out. You probably won't be able to do all the articles during your two hours but at least he will have some that he understands and can compare to the originals.

It is fantastic way to show him how to write, how others write, make the paragraphs hang together, use connecting words, ideas and repeat the same thing in many ways.

He could underline the words he doesn't know and take that for his own homework.

It takes a lot more words and sentences to express what they express in abstract language which is also a good lesson on why people write like this.

He could look up articles with similar topics in his own language just so he has the basic ideas.

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Post by [email protected] » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:57 pm

Thank you! This is great advice!

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