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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | Updated: 01/29/2023

3 Ways to Improve Your Students' Reading Skills

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

Reading is probably the skill you practice most in your English classes; however, it may not be your students' favorite.  Teach your students to like reading and improve their skills by following these three steps.

3 Important ESL Classroom Techniques

1 - Read Many Different Types of Texts

Not only should your students be reading styles and topics that they are interested in, but you should be providing a variety of texts in your reading routine:  academic texts, short stories, narratives, letters, newspaper articles, dialogues, novels, plays; the list goes on and on.  With the Internet, we have the ability to find all of these and more in seconds! Try to expose your students to authentic texts, not just those written for English learners. 

2 - Learn which Reading Techniques Work for Your Class

There are many techniques used in reading that will help your learners improve their comprehension of a text.  Teach them how to skim a reading by looking at the headings, titles, and bolded words to get a general idea of what the text is about. Scan by quickly running your eyes over a document to look for specific pieces of information like dates or names with capital letters.  Make inferences by interpreting ideas that are not stated; read between the lines.  Recognize paragraph structure and identify the relationship between the main idea and supporting ideas.  Look online for ideas of how to teach and practice these techniques in your classes.

3 - Test Comprehension

Not only do you probably have access to multiple English textbooks, but there also many websites like Breaking News English and BBC that have readings accompanied by comprehension questions and answers. Teach your students how to focus on the text before worrying about answering any questions.  An understanding of the reading helps them answer questions more efficiently and effectively.  Analyze the types of questions they are missing (details, inferences, etc.) and go back to working on techniques to improve these specific things.

The more your students read, the more they will enjoy it!  The more they enjoy it, the easier it will become!  Want to learn more techniques to help students learn English?  Take our 4-week, onsite TEFL course in Costa Rica!  

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