Today I had two new native speakers in one class and one in a second. We went over the rules for leading reading groups. I handed out a text, picked a leader, and coached that person who read with a group. What I forgot to do in the first group was coach one step at a time, as we do in adult coaching groups. I tried to get the first leader to do it all at once. The next thing I forgot was to give lots of praise to that first leader, and to the reader as well. In the second class, I gave huge praise to both the students who were demonstrating (the leader and the student who was volunteering to be the reader). I thought you’d like my “rules for reading,” though they may be here elsewhere.
1. Leader reads about one paragraph of the text slowly.
2. Student reads in English, but leader is ready to jump in to supply a word when the student hesitates.
3. If all the vocabulary is familiar, the leader will point out one or two samples of the focus grammar in terms of meaning.
4. If there was high-frequency vocabulary in the unknown words, the leader questions the students using it both to repeat it 4-10 times and to get to know the students better.
5. The leader may discuss the reading briefly in the TL.
6. The leader continues with the next paragraph.
It was really interesting to see how good my students are at demonstrating this tactic and how generous they were about volunteering to be the readers. I learned a lot about my kids in a short amount of time. I also realized how unfamiliar a skill this is for new people, especially students who have learned language in a different system. Finally, I could see how huge a difference there is when a student gets praise.