I often tend to use the words “struggling” and “reluctant” readers in one breath. But the reality is that not all of our reluctant readers are struggling. And, as one ELL teacher recently pointed out to me, not all struggling readers are reluctant. In her school, over half of the students are new to the country, most from refugee camps in the Middle East. Even at ages 10, 11, and 12, many of these students have never had any formal schooling. They’ve never learned to read in their own languages, much less in English. But, she explained, they are desperate to learn.
That’s why finding books that interest and engage English Language Learners – but are still at an accessible reading level – is so important. In an article on the ELL website Colorín Colorado, teacher Kristina Robertson says, “Our challenge is to help ELL students discover books and materials that are interesting and at a readability level that allows them to enjoy reading while exposing them to new vocabulary and making sure that they don’t become too frustrated.” She cites research by Stephen Krashen emphasizing the importance of school and public libraries having large collections of easy reading materials for readers of all ages and stages.
We know that the more you read, the better reader you will become. HIP Books give these struggling-but-far-from-reluctant readers the motivation and confidence to read more. Plus they build background knowledge and vocabulary. And here’s a bonus! Teachers tell us that HIP Books are great for helping English Language Learners understand slang, colloquial language and figures of speech. (Download a graphic organizer on Figures of Speech from the Running for Dave Teacher’s Guide.)
HIP’s new HIP SR MEGA PACK offers a collection of 20 novels at basic Grades 2-4 reading levels, but on a variety of themes and issues to interest every student. Together, let’s work to make every reader an engaged reader.