Burton (2007, p.8) discusses using choral reading, describing it as a group version of paired reading ‘but there can be problems if people read at different speeds’. She suggests that ‘an enlarged text…with a pointer, might resolve that difficulty’. An interesting point is that ‘individual learners can signal that they wish to read alone’ and if they find bits difficult, the group will join back in.
There is a good explanation of its use with kids on the readingrockets website, with a video showing how it’s done. Unfortunately, if you search for ‘choral reading adults UK’ you find lots of ways to join a choir in the Reading area of England.
In the video, I like that the teacher is drawing attention to speech marks, fonts etc, which can help autonomous reading fluency in the future. This prompting, and immediate practice is, in my opinion, vital for progress. Readingrockets also points out that it can be used individually, with small groups and whole groups. This might be something I could try with a volunteer and select learners, whilst the rest of the group focus on a different reading.
The method is something I might come back to in future, as I don’t think it will work in my current literacy class as a whole book, whole class technique, but is rather useful at the beginning of a text, or in a section of a book that is a little bit more difficult than the rest, or indeed breaking learners from the whole group to work with a volunteer to read something more suitable for them. It might be a nice idea in future as learners are more comfortable with the technique to try it out on their own through using a script (plenty of dialogue) in the classroom, with learners splitting off and practising different character parts/narrator, before coming together to perform a reading as one.
I think that the method would work extremely well in an ESOL class though, giving a good opportunity to focus on the effect of punctuation, intonation, pitch, sentence and word stress, dealing with individual difficulties and confidence.
I used information found on the readingrockets website to make a little fact sheet for my learners (and for me to remember the process quickly) for when I want to use it in future.
Burton, M. (2007) Reading. NIACE; Leicester
ReadingRockets, 2013. Choral Reading. [Online]. Available from: http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/choral_reading
What did you learn?
I learnt that it is important to model how a competent reader reads in order to develop oral fluency.
How will you apply it? Practical implications? Resources made/changed? For assignment? Meet with? Find out more about? By ___ in my teaching.
For my assignment, but also for use in future possibly. I want to get my group more comfortable before trying this out!
I tried this on:
What went well?
What would I change?
How will I make changes?