Learning to read is not an automatic process. Teachers need to use a variety of teaching strategies to help students learn to read. (The English Language Curriculum Guide (ELCG), 2004).
The Tertiary Wide Evaluation reported on an “over-reliance on textbooks” by local teachers. The most negative pattern of deployment resulted in NETs co-teaching phonics and shared reading while LETs compressed the remainder of the textbook curriculum into a smaller number of lessons.
In a balanced literacy programme, a number of teaching strategies (reading to, with and by) are used eg storytelling, reading aloud, shared reading, supported reading (guided reading) and independent reading.
Students gained skills in word recognition, oral language, reading and inferential comprehension and vocabulary, at an increased rate if they were “led to interact with … [books] actively, as in shared reading” (Elley and Foster, 1996).
Fountas and Pinnell (1998) confirm that “when students are learning how to think about text as readers, they are also learning how to notice and use the craft of writing.”
Develops thinking skills
Enhances language proficiency
Broadens life experience
Teachers need to motivate learners, provide guidance and opportunity to enhance their learning capacity (Children don’t get external exposure to English / parental reading / language support as native speaking English children do.)