SCIS Hongqiao Reading Buddies Program
At Shanghai Community International School (SCIS), Hongqiao Campus, the Middle School EAL Phase 5/6 participate in a Reading Buddies Program where the EAL students visit Ms. Connolly’s 2nd Grade class once per 8-day cycle. The EAL students, who are in Grades 7 & 8, have a 2nd Grade “buddy” or two. They bring a book for them and spend time reading with the little ones.
The EAL students have learned the techniques of identifying the theme of their book, asking questions regarding the theme to their buddy before they read the story, implementing a book walk where they look at the pictures in the book and try to guess what the characters are doing, asking questions while reading the book, and returning to the questions regarding theme. The EAL students are getting a little taste of the techniques incorporated by teachers while reading storybooks. By creating an authentic experience for them, it puts more emphasis on their reading techniques. They are now a reading model for the 2nd Graders.
“I think it’s fun and it’s good practice to read to them. I focus more on my pronunciation and reading skills when I have to read to my buddy,” said Eva Wahlberg, a first-year SCIS student from Finland.
“It helps me explain the story to the 2nd Grader if they don’t get it. It’s helping my pronunciation and makes me focus on speaking louder,” commented Daniel Lee, a third-year student from Korea.
At first, the EAL students were a little self-conscious and apprehensive to read to the little ones, but once they met their buddy and spent some time with them, their nervousness dissipated and the buddies quickly formed a bond.
Jo Lin, a 2nd-Grader from the US said, “I like them because they read us stories and they play with us.”
Although the Reading Buddies Program is in its infancy, the rewards for both the 2nd Graders and the EAL students are extremely positive.
Thomas Simmons, Jo’s classmate and also from the US, feels that, “It’s good because they have fun with us and I like to read with them.”
Original Link: SCIS Hongqiao Reading Buddies Program (Source: Shanghai Daily | November, 2016)