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What Are the Best Tips for Teaching Literacy?

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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2016
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The best tips for teaching literacy effectively are to encourage students to read outside of class and keep journals, and to discuss things they’ve read. In addition, it is important to give students time to work independently as well as provide guided learning. Teachers should also encourage silent reading. One of the most important tips for teaching literacy is to relate the content of the lesson to real life situations.

Literacy can be defined simply as the ability to read and write. This definition not only encompasses being able to comprehend written language, but also being able to use language as an effective means of expression. This is useful in life for many reasons, including the ability to read for knowledge and pleasure. Reading and writing are important skills in day-to-day life, and teaching literacy may be easier if students are led to understand this.

The most basic way to start teaching literacy is to encourage students to read simple books, specifically those that use repeating words, phrases, or sounds. Not only can reading simple books help ingrain the most basic elements of language in students' minds, it can also give them the confidence to sit down and read a book. Students should be led through reading for part of the lesson, but also be given time to work independently. The teacher should remain on hand during independent reading to help any students who are having difficulty.

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After students have learned the basics of reading and writing, it is important to ensure that they consistently practice the skills they have developed. A good tip for teaching literacy is to encourage students to keep a journal. Journal-writing provides students with an opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences through words. Students should also be encouraged to read books outside of class, as this may open them up to materials they are personally interested in. When teaching literacy, encouraging discussions about books is a good idea, and more advanced readers can be asked to present book reports.

It is extremely important when teaching literacy to relate the skills students learn in class to things in the real world. This can be as simple as bringing in a newspaper article as reading material for the class, or practicing reading or writing shopping lists. Teachers should make it clear to students that reading is important for functioning in the world; for example, it is a necessary skill to have for understanding street signs.

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