ESL job interview question: Describe your balanced literacy program.

Recommended answer 1:

In a balanced literacy program you have to make sure you focus on the following elements:

(1) Read aloud (teacher reads aloud) serves as a model of fluent reading, encourages prediction, builds a community of readers, and develops active listening skills.

(2) Share reading - student/teacher - demonstrates awareness of text, develops sense of content, promotes reading strategies, develops fluency and phrasing; it also develops comprehension skills.

(3) Guided reading promotes reading strategies, increases comprehension and supports independent reading.

(4) Independent reading encourages strategic reading, increases comprehension, supports writing development, develops fluency, promotes reading for enjoyment and information.

(5) Model or share writing develops concept of print, writing strategies and supports reading development; provides model for a variety of writing styles, models connection between sounds, letters and words, produces text that students can read independently.

(6) Interactive writing provides opportunities to plan and construct texts, increase spelling knowledge; it generates written language resources in the classroom, creates opportunity to apply what has been learned.

(7) Independent writing strengthens text sequence and develops understanding of multiple uses of writing.

(8) Strategic reading is an expert reading: when students read, they use their prior knowledge along with clues from the text to construct meaning. Effective readers are strategic. They have aims for their reading and can adjust their reading to achieve their reading objectives.

Recommended answer 2:

I use a combination of read aloud, shared reading and guided reading in my class where I can model reading to the students. The class can practice reading in shared reading, and then I can focus on specific skills in guided reading. In addition to this, we do shared and independent writing to relate what we learn during our reading to better our writing. I use word wall words, environmental prints, and various reading materials.

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