Being a successful reader is about so much more than just being able to recite words on a page. To ensure that students from the Twabuka Reading Club in Livingstone are developing an understanding of the English language alongside their reading skills, ALERT has been incorporating teaching resources donated by Axis Education Limited in the UK into the sessions.
A set of comprehension cards are currently being used with students which are designed to target six specific reading skills. Each one contains a mini story which allows readers to explore the following themes:
- Fact and Opinion: students are taught how to distinguish between what is fact and what is the writer’s opinion
- Predicting Outcomes: students are asked to predict what could happen next, based on the information already given to them in the text
- Remembering Details: students are encouraged to recall relevant facts and information
- Making an Inference: students are taught how to ‘read between the lines’ to understand the inference in a narrative based on what already know from the text
- Getting the Main Idea: students are asked to identify the main point/central idea in a piece of text
- Using Context Clues: students are taught to use contextual clues - rather than only what is written - to work out the true meaning of a piece of text
Now they are becoming more confident with the written word, the students are enjoying taking their learning to a new level; an important stage in becoming an active reader. Their reading and comprehension skills are improving and they are motivated enough to ask questions when they don’t understand a word or phrase.
Lion Encounter community intern Jessica from Canada was tasked with leading the most recent reading and comprehension session, assisted by volunteers Cody from Australia and Chris and Blaire from the US. If you would like to join ALERT as a Teaching in Africa intern to work in local schools around our project sites, you can find out more details and how to apply here.