WEBSITES FOR READING COMPREHENSION

prepared in April, 2003 by Maija MacLeod and Miko Summerell for French 611.12
(Unidentified entries by Maija, BG=Brian Gill, MS=Fumiko Summerell)

Sites of Interest to Teachers -  Theory and Resources

http://cal.org/wrih/INDEX.html

   From the Center for Applied Linguistics, this website was created by Catherine Snow, a researcher and professor at Harvard, to show the challenges involved in teaching children to read in a second language. A video accompanies the text, showing part of Snow's presentation of this material at a workshop for educators. 

http://nadabs11.tripod.com/reading/

   This site, created by Nada AbiSamra, at the American University of Beirut, presents information on approaches to reading, activating and building on content and formal schemata, helping readers acquire reading strategies,  vocabulary instruction and work with word recognition.  Included are many links to articles that can be accessed online.

http://www.extensivereading.net

  This site, authored by numerous researchers and educators, primarily in Japan and the Far East,  presents numerous online articles about extensive reading,  how to set up a program, models of established programs, and suggested materials. An annotated bibliography and access to a discussion list is included.

http://coe.sdsu.edu/people/jmora/L2ReadingMMd/

   This site, Reading in a Second Language: What every teacher needs to know,  is one module from an extensive set of modules by Jill Mora at San Diego State University, entitled  Dr. Mora's Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development  Website. Aiming to provide a link between University research, Kindergarten to grade 12 teachers and the general public,  the site takes a perpective on bilingual cross-cultural education, in particular, for  English/Spanish students This particlar site consists of a Powerpoint presentation plus additional resources, including an extensive bibliography. Teachers may want to link to other parts of the site, such as "Literacy Instruction in  the CLAD classroom, which provide a series of  instructional  modules for teachers of L2. 

http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/library/curriculum/index.htm

   This site is an online library of articles and web resources that will be of interest  to Kindergarten to grade 12 teachers with linguistically and culturally diverse students. The site is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education, National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction, Educational programs. Entering the section termed  "reading? writing? literacy? " gives access to articles on reading, from various sources. Many of the articles deal with bilingual students (English/Spanish). As well there is a practical resource called "A Toolkit for Effective Instruction of English learners".

http://www.limousin.iufm.fr/lettrangl/2emeannee/anglais/reading_styles.htm

This Teaching Reading Styles site by Nick Dawson suggests 30 ways to improve reading. (BG)

A Theoretical Overview of the Reading Process
     This page discusses reading process in general.  It contains a brief summary of reading models such as bottom-up, top-down, and interactive models.  It then precedes to examine factors which are relevant to              reading strategies, namely orthographic, lexical syntactic and semantic knowledge. 
    http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/education/edlab/81529/theopape.html (MS)
 

Six Strategies You Can Use . . . Reading for Meaning
     This is a site developed by Eagle Crest Elementary School in Colorado.  Six strategies a reading teacher can 

     apply in a classroom are listed.
    http://www.stvrain.k12.co.us/ecel/read_for_meaning.html (MS)
 

Ten Myths on Reading Instructions
     This site is developed by the SEDL (Southwest Educational Development Laboratory) and has more links to

     related sites.  This page examines ten myths which are currently influencing reading instructions.

    http://www.sedl.org/reading/topics/myths.html (MS)
 

What Does Research Say About Reading?
     This article discusses reading process based on cognitive psychology.  It also discusses roles of schools and 

     parents for successful reading.
    http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/stw_esys/str_read.htm (MS)

Creative Reading
     The author of this page, Mariam G. Marshall, suggests using translated fairy tales from Spanish to English for 

     Hispanic L2 learners of English.  The page also contains 35 sample activities for reading discussion and

     bibliography of resource books, stories to be used by teachers, and stories for students.

    http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1989/3/89.03.05.x.html (MS)
 

Using Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR)
     Janette Kingner and Sharon Vaughn describe a unique technique, Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR), for

     teaching reading comprehension and building vocabulary.  The article describes four strategies of CSR's plan in 

     detail.

    http://www.readingrockets.org/article.php?ID=354 (MS)
 

Effective Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension
     Nell Duke and David Pearson, Michigan State University, describe techniques in teaching effective 

     comprehension skills.  The site includes 'a checklist for assessing the comprehension instruction environment in 

     one's own classroom' and a number of references.

    http://ed-web3.educ.msu.edu/pearson/pdppaper/Duke/ndpdp.html (MS)

Instructional Techniques and Lesson Plans

Guide to Mapping
     As a part of reading activities, mapping helps to organize and remember what you read.  There are six different 

     types of mapping diagrams that can be used in a classroom. 
    http://depts.gallaudet.edu/Englishworks/reading/mapping.html (MS)
 

How to Develop a Lesson Plan
     Although this site is not particularly designed for reading teachers, it offers useful tips and guidelines for 

     creating your own lesson plan.
    http://askeric.org/Virtual/Lessons/Guide.shtml (MS)
 

Reading Lesson Plans
     A large list of reading lesson plans from K to Adult/Higher Education is found on this page.  Most of the plans

     are for elementary school teachers.  Overview, objectives, activities and procedures are included.

    http://askeric.org/cgi-bin/lessons.cgi/Language_Arts/Reading
(MS)
 


Companion Publishers Websites

   Companion websites are a web component  that many of the various publishing houses provide to complement their courses and texts. They include downloadable activities, teaching tips and articles, discussion and idea sharing, sometimes contact with the authors, and opportunities for global projects and class contact. Usefful web links and opportunities to interact with other students are sometimes included. The addresses of some of these companion web sites follow:

http://www.longman.com/ae/marketing/sfesl/

   This site for Scott Foresman ESL (part of Pearson Longman Publishing) is part of their content-based ESL program for Kindergarten to grade 8.  It  provides practice  reading tests for grade 1 to 8 , with two passages for each grade and  accompanying multiple-choice and short answer written tests. These tests are not interactive but student responses can be printed out and scored by the teacher. The site links to a teacher support section which contains many useful sources of  reading materials for second language readers.

http://www.penguindossiers.com/

    This site, part of  the Penguin Readers program of graded readersmay be useful for both adults and young people. It presents a new article each month, with glosses, on topics of interest such as sports, film,  music, modern life  and  famous people. The articles are written at  level 3 (pre-intermediate ) with 1200 words.  Lesson plans are available for teachers with comprehension questions for each article.

http://www.onestopenglish.com/booksandcourses/

   This  site for MacMillan Publishers ELT Service leads to fourteen different companion websites,  for different areas of interest. For example "Inside Out" is for Upper Intermediate and Advanced English learners, "The Bus Stop"  is for Primary grades, and  "Shine " is for teenagers. A new site has opened for Business English.  By registering on-line, visitors will receive free access to weekly E-lessons with many ideas that can be used in the reading classroom.

Professional Journals

http://readingmatrix.com/current.html

   The Reading Matrix:An International Online Journal  began pubication in April 2001 and appears  twice a year. It presents new articles, research-based and theoretical, relating to second language learning and teaching, specifically with reading. Its aims are to provide a forum for alternative forms of inquiry into the teaching and improvement of reading through technology as well as the application of technology to literacy instruction.

http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/forum.htm

   English Teaching Forum, by the U.S. Dept. of State English Language programs, is a quarterly journal for teachers of English as a foreign or second language. The site includes articles dating back to 1993, on theory and practice, with discussions of classroom methods and ideas. Although not exclusively a reading site, some articles do focus specifically on this area.

http://readingonline.org/

   Presented by the International Reading Association, this site,  Reading Online, is  a journal with articles of interest in research and practice,  for Kindergarten to grade 12 teachers. Although not specifically  for teachers of a second language,  there are articles that may be of interest to them, especially from the section "The Electronic Classroom".

http://iteslj.org

   A monthly web journal from Japan, the Internet TESL Journal  has been published since 1995.  This site offers past issues that can be accessed for articles for ESL/EFL  lessons, teaching techniques and articles and research papers. Of specific interest may be the sections on Reading, the Internet  and CALL. Since the site is aimed at working teachers, the articles are all of practical use, not theory.

Colloque 1998: ANALYSE DES DISCOURS : TEXTES, TYPES ET GENRES

A conference on text types and genres.

Sources of Readings  for Students

http://www.comenius.com/fable/

   Although this site was not available at the time this section was assembled (April 2003), visiting the site indicates it will return soon. The Comenius Group's Virtual English Language Center has offered a section called "Fluency through Fables"  which presented  a series of  short stories  with accompanying reading comprehension exercises. The exercise included matching, completion, true and false and discussion. Using  fables as a reading source for second language learners is valuable because their structure is  familiar, being  found in each culture. They increase fluency, as well as vocabulary and critical thinking.

http://staff.uscolo.edu/peterssl/topics/electronic/magazine.html

    This site, Topics Online Magazine, is an online magazine written by ESL and EFL students for other students. Published by Sandy and Thomas Peters at Rice University, it is published  every three months. Back issues are available, however, to 1997, providing a good variety of articles for ESL/EFL students on which to practice reading. Topics are included  that would specifically interest new language leaners. As well, there are articles  written by teachers that present student projects, discussing techniques and methodology.

Sources of Readings and Activities for Students

http://literacynet.org/cnnsf/

   The Learning Resources site for CNN's San Francisco news bureau provides current and past stories that are suitable for ESL students from beginner to advanced. Included are full plus abridged texts along with interactive modules that include vocabulary, comprehension and sequencing as well as a final written component. Topics cover a wide range of interest areas and although mostly suitable for adult audiences, can easily be used with junior or high school students. Designed for independent use, the site offers students opportunities to inteact with the same material by reading, listening to, or watching a short video clip.

http://www.aec.ukans.edu/leo/museum/musintro.html

   This site, by the Applied English Center at the University of Kansas, provides a practice reading test for low intermediate students. After reading a short article about the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas, 20 multiple-choice comprehension questions are given. A useful feature is the guidance given to incorrect responses, in which strategies are suggested as how to locate the correct information.

http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/index.htm

The English Language Centre Study Zone is an interactive reading site produced at the University of Victoria. Users can access reading selections at five levels of abilility and perform reading,  grammar and writing exercises on them. The reading component takes the form of pre-reading, cloze exercises, scanning and skimming. For some reading levels there is only one choice of text available while others have more.

http://rkw.hct.ac.ae/ilc/found/index.htm

   This site presents reading comprehension exercises developed at the Independent Learning center at Ras Al Khaimah Women's College in the United  Arab Emirates. The exercises are self-correcting, There are two passages at present but indication is  that more are to come. 

http://eslus.com/eslcenter.htm

   This site, the  Interlink ESL Resource Center, was created for students wanting to improve their English for academic classes, at  four different  universities in the U.S. Several components are available. The first is a series of mini-stories with multiple-choice questions. These have been created with Hot Potatoes software  and consequently have interesting features such as a timer and useful feedback to incorrect responses. The second section includes speed reading activities at five levels, ranging from recognizing words, phrases, sentence structure to core meaning of complex sentences. The third section includes selections for Extensive Reading, with passages ranging from fairy tales to short stories. As well, links are given to  national and international newpapers, as well as Science and Law articles. Each of these has use of an on-line dictionary , although  quite cumbersome.  The fourth section provides science readings and the last, a selection of paragraphs that students can listen to while reading. Some of the words are glossed. This is quite an extensive site, with other aspects to choose from that may be useful to the ESL/EFL student preparing for academic studies, particularly English for Law, Science and Technology. 

http://www.cdlponline.org/studact.html

   This site is part of the California Distance Learning Project, designed for adults. Two  sections  may be of particular use to ESL students. The First, the ESL Connection Online is a listening activity with reading portions.  The second section, Workplace Connection Online is more extensive, with 8 separate reading passages and accompanying activities for syllabication, vocabulary, language activities, reading, writing, and  matching. Although the site is supplemental to a video series, it can be used on its own for reading comprehension. Reading activities include multiple-choice  and ordering . One feature which may be of added assistance is the option of listening to an audio of the passage.

Activities for ESL Students
     There are a number of short exercises for beginners to advanced levels that are created by ESL teachers.

     This site also contains other sections including vocabulary, crosswords, and multilingual dictionaries. 

     ( http://a4esl.org/)

    http://a4esl.org/q/h/grammarp.html (MS)

Sources of Interest to Both Teachers and Students

http://depts.gallaudet.edu/englishworks/reading/main

   English Works! at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. provides English tutoring advice and online writing and reading resources to undergraduate and graduate students. The Reading  (ESL) link includes information useful to both teachers and students, such as explanations of reading and mapping strategies and types of questions and tests. Students can practice reading with multiple -choice comprehension questions as well as perform online cloze exercises. Particularly useful may be the sources of authentic reading available in the links to other sites such as newspapers, news sites and encyclopedias.

http://www.bangkokpost.net/education/aboutsite.htm

   This site is by the Bangkok Post Educational Services. Designed for ESL/EFL readers, it includes several sections for students and for teachers. Students can read developing news stories, get tips on reading the newspaper, and read passages from a bank of stories with accompanying comprehension questions. Teachers can access suggestions for teaching  reading of newspapers and easily adapt  a choice of lesson plans by substituting examples from local papers. Although part of the site builds daily on articles from  the Bangkok Post, there is much that may be of interest to ESL/EFL readers in parts of the world other than the Orient.

A Grammar for Reading and Writing
     The author, Dan Kurland, analyzes sentences in terms of chunks (phrases and clauses) as a meaningful unit. He

     explain how a sentence changes its meaning depending on how words are grouped. In addition to this grammar

     page, there are sections on critical reading, inference, and ways to read. (
How the Language Really Works
    http://www.criticalreading.com/index.html

    http://www.criticalreading.com/grammar_reading_writing.htm#linkb (MS)

The Speed Reading Course
     This is a very comprehensive speed reading site.  It covers from how the eye works when you read to how

     fast you forget what you read.  This course offers six sets of exercises you can try to improve your reading 

     speed and your memory.
    http://www.trans4mind.com/speed_reading/ (MS)
 

Tips for improving your reading speed
     The author thinks of reading like a muscle in work: the more you read, the faster you become. The site 

     introduces a speed reading method called sight reading with several practice suggestions. 

    http://studyhall.com/SPRD/spreading.html
(MS)

Reading Signs in English
     There are 47 photographs of signs from shopping amenities, road sign, and even washroom signs.  No explanation

     is included, just photos of signs.

    http://www.manythings.org/signs/ (MS)

 

Reading Comprehension Exercises

Reading Comprehension
     This site offers 56 reading comprehension worksheets for elementary school children, but will also be useful for 

     ESL learners. The worksheet, which can be copied, contain various reading activities.  English Basics page 

     contains a number of reading comprehension exercises.

    http://www.rhlschool.com/reading.htm
(MS)
 

Reading Exercises

     Two types of reading exercises are offered: the first is reading for meaning and main ideas, and the other one 
     includes cloze exercises. Both first and second parts contain nine short stories about the hearing impaired 

     Americans, including Thomas Edison.

    http://depts.gallaudet.edu/englishworks/exercises/main/reading.html
(MS)
 

Reading Bank
     A number of reading exercises created by teachers are compiled on this page. There are lessons for all grade

     levels and subjects.

    http://www.teachers.net/cgi-bin/lessons/sort.cgi?searchterm=Reading
(MS)
 

English Reading Website for ESL Students
     This site contains 14 short stories (1500 to 7000 words).  Most of them are British stories, but  some of them 

    are translated from French.  The intended level of readers, along with lengths of stories are provided.

    http://reading.englishclub.com/ss.htm
(MS)
 

Improve your reading comprehension
     There are useful suggestion on reading strategies and seven short reading exercises.  It also contains pages on 

     grammar, vocabulary, and idioms.  Teachers can utilize resources such as  quizzes, activity sheets, and game 

     ideas. 

    http://www.johnsesl.com/templates/reading/
(MS)


CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning)

 A Principled Consideration of Computers & Reading In a Second Language
     Tom Cobb and Vance Stevens, Language Centre, Sultan Qaboos University (Sultanate of Oman), discuss two

     main areas of problems with CALL in this article.  An extensive reference section is also included.

    http://www.er.uqam.ca/nobel/r21270/cv/Tom&Vance.html
(MS)

 

CALL Resources 
http://www.ohio.edu/linguistics/dept/CALLs.htm (MS)

The Linguist List
http://linguistlist.org/sp/LangLearnESL.html (MS)