Choral reading is one strategy to help ELLs practice their reading fluency. During choral reading, the teacher and a group of students read a text together. This allows students to practice reading the text fluently and without the stress of missing a word. Here are some tips for choral reading with ELLs.
Selecting a Choral Reading Text
Choral reading works best when the text is close to the instructional reading level of the students. It is a good opportunity to help students practice reading a text with fluency.
You can also use choral reading to introduce students to short texts that are slightly above their independent reading level. In this case, it is helpful if the text has a predictable rhythm or rhyme scheme. This is particularly helpful for emergent readers. They might not yet be able to decode all of the words in a choral reading text, but can follow tracking the words and using beginning sounds.
Nursery rhymes are a great option for young students. Poetry works well for students of all ages.
Point to the Text
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One way to monitor if students are following along during choral reading is to have them point to the text. The lower a students reading level, the more important this is. Young students may enjoy having a special tool on their finger to use as they track the print. In the fall, be on the lookout for witch fingers to use as finger pointers.
Text with tracking dots is a helpful strategy for emergent readers. You can create your own tracking dots by using a copy of the text that the student will be reading and adding a dot under each word.
Introduce the Text First
The goal of choral reading is to give students the opportunity to practice their fluency in a low-stress environment. To help with this, the teacher should first read the text to the group of students, modeling fluent reading.
Choral Reading Resources
Introduce students to English nursery rhymes and songs with this set of choral reading fluency passages. The set also comes with additional texts that follow a similar pattern as the original texts. The passages come with and without tracking dots and with pictures for students to use in retelling.
Reading Rockets has a video example of students using choral reading in the classroom.
Read Write Think has links to articles that support using choral reading and the importance of reading fluency for students.