Pre-Reading Activities for ESL Students

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

The work you do with students before they start reading a particular text can make a big difference in how they experience that text. This lesson offers some pre-reading activities that are especially useful for ESL students.

Pre-Reading Makes All the Difference

When you are working with ESL students on reading, the things you do before they encounter a particular text can make an enormous difference in how they experience the text. After all, so much of reading comprehension has to do with vocabulary, with incorporating new ideas into a preexisting schema, and with understanding dialogue and social norms. All of these things are part of prior knowledge, so anything you do to activate and supplement students' prior knowledge will enhance their reading experience.

This lesson offers you some general pre-reading activities that can be especially helpful for ESL students. These activities are general and should be modified to be more relevant to the specific texts you are working with and also the needs, interests, and capacities of students in your class.

Visual Pre-Reading Activities

These activities are well-suited to visual learners and students who like to be able to picture what they are learning.

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