Principal’s Corner: Fostering love of reading for all learners

Kerstin Kramer
Principal’s Corner

At Glenshire Elementary our goal is to have all students develop the joy of reading while reading to achieve academically and ultimately become lifelong readers!

For some, reading comes easily and is joyful. For others, it takes more effort and time to read at a level that becomes enjoyable. However, what if English is not your first language? How does that impact your learning and joy of reading?

According to Dominic Massaro, a professor in psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, studies show that word mastery in adulthood is correlated with the early acquisition of words. The majority of our students who are English Language Learners come from families where English is not their primary language. When parents and children are having conversations, they are speaking in their native language, not English. This lack of early exposure to English words increases the difficulty in mastering the skill of reading in English.

At Glenshire Elementary, we partnered with our Parent Teacher Organization to provide a resource that helps English Language Learners catch up on English vocabulary.

The Glenshire Elementary PTO funded 30 Amazon Kindle Fires for the English Language Learning program at the school. Providing each English Language Learner with a Kindle Fire provides them access to Amazon Immersion Reading and Whispersync. With Immersion Reading, students read and listen to books at the same time using the Kindle app. The application highlights the word that is being narrated. This, in turn, leads to deeper comprehension of the individual words, as well as character and story development. Read alouds through the Kindle Fire allow English Language Learners to experience the joy of stories, increase their vocabulary and expose them to new authors, texts, and genres.

To further foster a love of reading, our English Language Learners participate in a monthly book club. This provides the opportunity for each student to talk about the book they are reading on the Kindle and practice their conversation skills.

Overall, read alouds through the Kindle Fire advance our students language development, build confidence and help them become great readers and successful students. This puts our English Language Learners on the path to becoming lifelong readers and loving it each step of the way.

Kerstin Kramer is principal at Glenshire Elementary.

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