Using the Think Aloud Strategy with ELL Students

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a master's degree in both Literacy and TESOL.

In this lesson, you will learn about using the think aloud strategy with your English language learner (ELL) students. The lesson will cover benefits of the strategy as well as different methods for incorporating it into your classroom.

Engaged Readers

Before you start this lesson, pick up a book and spend a few minutes reading it. Now, what went through your mind as you read?

If you're like most people, you probably had some thoughts. Perhaps you had a question that needed clarification. Or maybe you made a connection to something you saw in a movie. This intuitive process helps with comprehension and makes reading more enjoyable.

At some point, you've most likely learned, either from a teacher or from personal experience, that engaging with a text helps you to better understand it. However, not all students are privy to that information. Many readers experience a text passively, not pausing to reflect or check for understanding. When they come across difficult concepts or unfamiliar vocabulary, they forge ahead, hoping the more they read, the more sense the text will make.

Difficult concepts and unfamiliar words can be especially challenging for ELL students who are already at a disadvantage because of their language barrier. The good news is that you can teach students how to engage with their reading by modeling your own think-aloud process in front of them.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account