Struggling readers in the secondary English classroom

Apr 17, 2017 | Effective Practice, Teaching Struggling Readers, Whole School Literacy

“They just can’t access the texts.”

This is one of the most frequent comments we hear when we train in schools or take workshops. All over the country, students with the potential to do better are held back because of weak reading skills. Often these students are articulate in conversation and have good listening comprehension. Sometimes they can decode accurately, but have little clear idea of the content that they have just read. Sometimes they have limited vocabulary and, even if they can decode the words on the page, they still cannot grasp the meaning of the text. Such problems have been even more acute for teachers and students since the reading demands of GCSE have become more challenging.


The old paradigm of labelling such children as having a ‘specific learning difficulty’ won’t do. Naming a problem is not the same as providing a solution. There is sound research evidence to show that with systematic, explicit and carefully monitored instruction, all the problems described above can be ameliorated, if not eliminated.

You can find out more about working with us to develop a whole-school literacy strategy by visiting our website.


You may also be interested in:

Looking Past the Masks

It’s Not Too Late

Reading Is Knowledge

Why is there a reading problem in secondary schools?


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