Modelling Reading Techniques

Growing up I was surrounded by languages, a plethora of south Asian languages, Kiswahili and of course English. Growing up in a multilingual household was a gift. It allowed me to communicate with my grandparents, the community and more than that it gave me a great grounding in patterns. I am convinced this is one of the reasons I ended up completing an undergraduate in Physics.

Here as some reading skills that we rarely teach explicitly to pupils and rarely model in secondary. This is coming from a non-English teacher, I would advocate modelling and utilising these skills in all lessons.

These should explicitly be modelled:

  1. Predicting
  2. Inferring
  3. Scanning
  4. Skimming
  5. Close Reading
  6. Critical Reading
  7. Focussing on Keywords



As a proficient reader, you will probably look at the above sentence and start to break down the meaning. My brain first goes to the second word ‘Puttanesca’ – where this translates to ‘of prostitutes’ or ‘prostitute like’. The Romano part of the takes me to cheese.

Something to do with food, food with cheese.

What it actually translates to is Little Ear (Pasta) with a prostitute like (sauce) with a Pecorino Romano (a type of cheese).


Use pictures to draw meaning from words before


Go. How many? Think through the way you read the ingredients. What are you doing with your eyes?


What the skills you have used in the last two tasks?


The above task forces you to read every word.


Here like close reading, you have to read every word, however, it’s deeper this time.


Next post on teaching and learning will be on a technique called the fastest finger first.



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