How do I Teach Reading Comprehension to ELLs?

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One of the ways to teach reading comprehension to English Language Learners ELLs) is through the INSERT method. INSERT or Interactive Notation System for Effective Reading and Thinking) is a method that encourages students to read actively and make notations right in the text, or on post-it notes.

Notations are written using the following codes:

X    I thought differently.

+    New information.

!!!    Wow! Very important!

??    I don’t understand.

=    This reminds me of something.

We can help students remember the codes by displaying a chart on the wall and/or giving the students bookmarks with the codes. As with any strategy, it is important that we model its use and give students ample opportunities to practice it.

The INSERT strategy calls upon students to use higher order thinking skills such as assessing, discriminating, and comparing. It, therefore, fits into a classroom with a rigorous curriculum. It also encourages students to connect with their background knowledge.

ELLs benefit from this strategy because when they want to refer back to a text for any reason, they don’t have to struggle with reading the entire thing all over again but simply look for the marks that they had made.

How might you teach reading comprehension in your classroom with the INSERT strategy?

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