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 … Read more

Myths of Graded Readers, Part 2

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 … Read more

Myths of Graded Readers, Part 1

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. … Read more

The Power of Narrative, Part 3

  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 … Read more

The Power of Narrative, Part 2

  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 … Read more

The Power of Narrative, Part 1

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 … Read more

Learning Sight Words

  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 … Read more

Practicing Reading

  by Lynn Maslen Kertell   Reading their first book is a big and exciting step for your child. Having the fun of reading a book, making friends with the characters, finding out what happens to them – these are all things that bring joy for your child. With a solid phonics foundation, your child … Read more

Reading First Words

by Lynn Maslen Kertell   Your child has learned the alphabet. They know which letters represent which sounds. They have practiced blending sounds together. Now it is time for the exciting step of learning to read words! With all your preparation, the next step will be easy.   Practice for a few minutes the two-letter … Read more

Blending Letter Sounds

by Lynn Maslen Kertell   Before the next step, make sure your child knows the sounds of the alphabet. Can they can tell you the sound bbbb when they see the letter b? Do they know a-a-apple starts with the sound aaa, and letter name aye?   Before reading, the next step is to learn … Read more

Learning Letter Sounds

by Lynn Maslen Kertell   The first step in helping your child learn to read is for them to understand that those funny squiggles on the paper represent sounds. To experienced readers, this is so well known as to be unconscious. To a child who does not yet know how to read, the consistency of … Read more

Learning to Read with Phonics

by Lynn Maslen Kertell   Learning to read with phonics is proven to be the best way to start reading. This means associating the letter shape with the letter sound. When your child sees “b,” they know it represents the sound bbbbb. Research shows that the areas of the brain associated with sound and hearing … Read more

Building Vocabulary

By Gio Panizzon   Exposing young learners to new words from the adults interacting with them can be a predictor of their long-term expressive vocabulary. The typical English speaker will use less than 4,000 words on a regular basis in everyday conversation, but our young learners should be able to grasp the most fundamental words. … Read more

After Reading

Stop to think about the story you’ve just finished reading, and you’ll get more out of it. Here are some fun ways to review the stories of Innova Graded Readers!   Each book has puppets at the back. Easily detach the puppets and have your child reenact the story.   Choose a word that was … Read more

Using Innova Graded Readers

  Innova Graded Readers gradually introduce more vocabulary and sentence structures, so it’s best to introduce the books in order. The books are color-coded by grade and numbered in order on the covers. Here are some tips for using the readers.   When reading with a child, first look together at the illustration on the … Read more

Innova Graded Readers Teach Reading

Innova Graded Readers use classic stories about fairy tales and talking animals, full-color pictures, and simple, repeating vocabulary and sentence structures, to teach reading to children. Captions on new nouns in the pictures, and a picture dictionary in the back, help children understand the story. Each page features a hook, inviting readers to imagine what … Read more
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