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Tutor Tips - Five Ways Of Reading

Tutors in adult education may ask, "How can we do purposeful reading with our students?" The answer lies in how you read with your learner. Once you expand beyond the standard read-aloud approach, you can read anything.


  1. Listening: the student listens and follows along as the tutor reads aloud. This technique can be used with any level of material. The tutor can gauge speed by asking the student if the pace is comfortable. After reading a passage, the tutor can ask the learner to point out words that she remembers. The learner can choose words from the passage that she wants to learn to read, and these words can be placed on a list or on flashcards.
  2. Echo Reading: the tutor reads a phrase or sentence and the student repeats it. This method allows the student to both see, hear, and say the words. Just as in the listening approach, students can choose words or sentences they want to practice by placing them on a list or on flashcards.
  3. Duet Reading: both the student and the tutor read aloud at the same time. The student can either read aloud, sub-vocalize (read under her breath), or just move her lips. The pace is important. It should be slow enough to allow the student to keep up yet fast enough to facilitate comprehension.
  4. Silent Reading: the student reads silently. Silent reading is the type of reading most readers do. In school, work, and life, most people are called on to read material to themselves and then discuss or use the information they glean. After a learner finishes a reading selection, you can check comprehension through discussion or a writing activity.
  5. Reading Aloud: the student reads aloud to the tutor. Reading aloud is one way to pinpoint certain difficulties; i.e. tracking from left to right, word attack skills, and sight word recognition. Words that give your student difficulty can be used later for isolated practice.

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