English as a Second Language (ESL) students often have difficulty when it comes to learning to read. Learning to read in a new language can be intimidating and frustrating.
Many students will end up searching for “reading tutoring programs near me” and will likely come up with tons and tons of results for help.
However, these reading tutoring programs might not actually end up working for them. ESL students, especially older students, have very different needs from other students.
There are some linguistic differences that make reading difficult for them and unless a tutor or teacher is trained in identifying these linguistic differences, they will have difficulty helping the ESL student or even misdiagnose them with a learning disability.
That is why it is important for ESL students to find help that is specifically catered to meet their needs.
What are some common ESL reading errors?
ESL students often struggle with common reading errors that also reflect in their writing.
- Vocabulary – Vocabulary is a big concern for ESL students no matter what their native language might be. Often, these students struggle with reading because they are having trouble with the vocabulary in a reading.
- Grammar – The issue of grammar might seem like something more connected to writing skills. However, familiarity with grammar will also greatly affect reading skills. Different languages have different structures and grammar rules that might be very different from English.
- Reading speed – Because ESL students struggle with vocabulary and grammar, their reading speed becomes highly affected as it will take them longer to decode words and sentences.
- Fluency – Reading fluency also becomes a common issue for ESL students as they struggle with other essential reading skills. Fluency relies on other reading skills such as vocabulary and quick decoding. ESL students will likely struggle with fluency if they are having trouble with vocabulary or reading speed.
- Reading Comprehension – Comprehension is an integral reading skill that can often be challenging for ESL students. This is because reading comprehension also heavily relies on other reading skills such as vocabulary and fluency.
Reading comprehension also depends on how much prior knowledge and background a reader has about the reading material. If ESL students do not have the same cultural context or background as their classmates, they might struggle with understanding the reading material.
Where can I find reading tutoring programs for ESL students?
ESL students often need reading help from experienced tutors and teachers who understand the unique challenges that they might face when learning to read.
Finding local help can sometimes be difficult for ESL students since they need to find specialized reading assistance.
Here are some reading tutoring programs for ESL students that can help them improve their reading skills at home:
- Local library – Your local library is a great resource for reading assistance. Not only do they supply an almost endless list of reading materials, they often have reading programs for English language learners for free. Local volunteers offer their help to be reading partners to ESL students and help them learn to read.
- Local community college – A local college is a great place to find a private reading tutor to hire. Many students advertise their services as a tutor, so you can often find tutoring services at a reasonable rate.
- Reading apps – Private tutoring is a great way to supplement learning for ESL students. However, they can be quite costly. A reading app is a great alternative to hiring a pricey tutor because you can save some money and have reading help whenever and wherever you want.
What is the best reading tutoring app for ESL students?
There are a plethora of reading apps available that can help ESL students improve various reading skills. However, a good app for ESL students to use is one that encompasses all these skills and gives them a more holistic approach to learning to read.
Readability offers that holistic experience for ESL students and makes reading fun and approachable.
The reading app works just like a private reading tutor for your student. The user has the option of having the app read the story to them as they follow along or they can read the story aloud as the app listens to them.
As they read, the app listens for any pronunciation errors then gives them feedback and correction. ESL students can gain multiple practice in different language skills: reading, listening, and speaking.
Readability also offers help to improve reading comprehension. Using their Interactive Voice Based Questions and Answers, the app provides questions about the reading that your child can answer to check their understanding.
ESL students often struggle with reading because it requires building vocabulary and understanding a completely new grammar pattern.
However, ESL students can vastly improve when they are provided the right help and tools, such as Readability, which provide targeted help for their specific reading needs.