WEBSITES FOR READING COMPREHENSION
in April, 2003 by Maija MacLeod and Miko Summerell for French 611.12
Sites of Interest to Teachers - Theory and Resourceshttp://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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
This Teaching Reading Styles site by Nick Dawson suggests 30 ways to improve reading. (BG)
Theoretical Overview of the Reading Process
You Can Use . . . Reading for Meaning
Ten Myths on Reading
What Does Research
Say About Reading?
Strategic Reading (CSR)
Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension
Instructional Techniques and Lesson Plans
How to Develop a Lesson
Companion Publishers WebsitesCompanion 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:
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.
This site, part of the Penguin Readers program of graded readers, may 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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
A conference on text types and genres.
Sources of Readings for Studentshttp://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.
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 Studentshttp://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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
for ESL Students
Sources of Interest to Both Teachers and Studentshttp://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.
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.
Grammar for Reading and Writing
Speed Reading Course
Tips for improving your
Signs in English
Reading Comprehension Exercises
Two types of reading exercises are offered: the first is reading for
meaning and main ideas, and the other one
English Reading Website for
Improve your reading comprehension
Consideration of Computers & Reading In a Second Language
The Linguist List