Author: Deb Bullock | Published on 1 November 2022


Question:How can I help my learners better understand reading texts?

Answer: You can identify the text type and the sub-skills needed to read it.

Different types of text require different sub-skills. Learners need to develop these sub-skills to read effectively. 

To help them, ask yourself these questions when you plan for reading:

1. What type of text is this? (E.g. a letter, a story, a poster, a chart, a news article, a poem, recipe, an advertisement, an information text, etc.)

Will my learners know what it is? 

Should we look at the layout first and identify the type of text?

2. How will my learners read it? How should they read it? 

– Should they look at the title and the headings first? 

– Should they read intensively (e.g. a poem) or skim and scan (e.g. a poster)? 

– How should they use the pictures to help them understand? 

– Should they guess the meaning of words? 

– Should they read aloud or silently?

– Should they read alone or in pairs or groups? 

3. Who wrote this text, why and who for? When should we think about this?

Look at the types of text you use and try out this tip next time you teach reading.


Sub-skills: a skill that is part of and necessary to another more complex skill

Layout: the way in which the parts of something are arranged or laid out.