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Phonics Teaching Tips

Learning phonics means learning which letters (or combinations of letters) make which sounds. One of the best ways to learn phonics is through stories—humans have a natural interest in even simple stories, and kids will want to know what happens to the characters next.   Bob Books phonics readers start with a limited number of […]

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  by Terry Phillips   Continued from Part 1   Show the first ‘page’ of the story.  Use handouts or, even better, display on a smartboard. Read the sentences aloud. Get the children to read along after one or two repetitions.   Jack and his mother are very poor.  They have one goat. Jack goes […]

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by Terry Phillips   It is not easy to find readers which actually teach reading. But you don’t have to buy readers if you are prepared to do a bit of work yourself. In fact, as an experienced teacher of young learners whose first language is not English, you can probably produce better readers than […]

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by Terry Phillips   Continued from Part 1   Myth 3: You only need to control for vocabulary level to make a reading text comprehensible So let’s forget adapting native speaker readers. Graded ESL/EFL readers from UK publishers are certainly strictly, almost pathologically, controlled for vocabulary. But English is a syntactic language, so unless there […]

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by Terry Phillips   I have been in language teaching for over forty years, working as a freelance ELT author for the last 30 years. During that time, I have written support materials for graded readers but never actually written any myself. I did not think there was a need for any more graded readers. […]

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  by Terry Phillips   Presenting and practising tense grammar in context A narrative can be written in present tenses. In fact, it should be, for students when they are starting to read. We do not want a learner to have a first encounter with a verb in the simple past, since so many frequent […]

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  by Terry Phillips   Developing speaking and writing Last time we talked about how narratives get students motivated and actively reading or listening. But they can also be used as a springboard for developing speaking and writing. The most obvious link to speaking practice is role play, in which students act out scenes that […]

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by Terry Phillips   Why should we use narratives with language learners? The use of continuing stories in ELT coursebooks has fallen out of fashion since I came into the business – sorry, profession – in the 1970s. This seems to me to be a great shame. Narratives are very powerful as a language learning […]

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  by Lynn Maslen Kertell   Sight words are words that appear over and over in the English language. Some of these words can be sounded out, but many cannot. When children can recognize these words immediately “on sight,” their reading speeds up and they gain fluency. This makes the entire reading experience more enjoyable […]

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  by Lynn Maslen Kertell   The type of four-letter words your child needs to learn are frog, plan, drip, went, send, cast, or fast.   For kids to feel confident about reading, they need a plan to figure out new words. As the adult, you are not only teaching how to read specific words, […]

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