Guided reading has been an important instructional approach to teach students how to read. Dual language and immersion teachers may wonder, how does Guided Reading/ Lectura Guiada look like in the bilingual classroom?
In my experience, la Lectura Guiada is very similar in both English & Spanish. It is important to highlight the differences as well as the key components that helps students bridge their knowledge of both languages.
The overall structure of la Lectura Guiada in both languages are the same:
- Preview the book & set purpose
- Listen to & observe reading behaviors
- Model reading strategy
- Ask comprehension questions
- Word work & writing practice
In a typical guided reading lesson, teachers go over key vocabulary words that students may not be familiar. This allows students to better understand and decode these unfamiliar words.
In a bilingual classroom, it is important to understand that language learners need to make connections between the new language and their native language in order to have a better grasp of the new vocabulary. This is one key difference in la lectura guiada.
Translating words is rarely the right approach to help students assimilate the new vocabulary. Instead, teachers can support language learners by using visuals and highlighting cognates, as well as false cognates. This is specially true in the K-1 classrooms.
Another key difference in la lectura guiada, is how teachers instruct word structure. In English, teachers teach emergent and early readers to sound out words and identify spelling patterns in words. Meanwhile, in Spanish, students need to understand that words are broken down by syllables.
It’s essential to highlighting the difference and similarities of:
- Vowel and Consonant sounds (like the letter C makes /k/ & /s/ in both languages).
- Vowel teams (In English, they make the long vowel sound. In Spanish, they are diptongos y hiatos).
- Digraphs & blends (th in English but not in Spanish)
- Rules for open & close syllables.
Bilingual Connections/ Conexiones Bilingües
Making bilingual connections during la lectura guiada, is the additional step to the traditional guided reading lesson.
These connections or bridges can be:
- Syntactical & Grammatical
Dual language and immersion teachers should plan language connections as part of their lectura guiada lesson. Although these connections can be infused throughout the lesson, for example when going over syllabication, it is important that at the end of the lesson, the teacher and students circle back to these.
Teacher and students can create a list or a chart with examples of the connections they are making or have a discussion that compare and contrast the language and/or culture.