Question: I just started working with a teenager in 10th grade and he is reluctant to do reading exercises. I get the feeling he is very far behind in reading level and is embarrassed about it. What can I do to make him more comfortable and to find reading material that can help improve his skills?”
I just started working with a teenager entering the 9th grade. She lives in a group home. I was asked to help her because they thought she might fail her English class. She was reluctant to work with me.
I discovered from her Student Questionnaire that she was dyslexic, but she loved to read teen mythology books. So, we started a book club for the summer. We’re both reading Demon King and for the last 3 weeks we’ve been discussing the book. Her reading comprehension is good, but I think she has trouble when she needs to read a word out of context. Best of all, she is starting to trust me.
Last week we discussed getting ready to go back to school and the areas she thought we should work on. She told me she wanted to work on math and science. I suggested we also work on English. I asked her if she’d be willing to take a couple of assessments that would help identify specific subjects we needed to focus. She agreed.
This week I’m giving her two assessments. One of the assessments is a list of words that she will read to me. I’m hoping this will give me a better idea if she has Dyslexia, or there is another problem we need to address.
So, in short, I would suggest finding something to read with your student that he enjoys, based on his personal interests, but that is at an easy reading level. Once he understands you aren’t there to judge him, he might be more comfortable doing an assessment to pinpoint his reading level.
Here is an example of a reading assessment you can do with your student. I hope this information helps you.
About the Tutor: Cathie Alter has been a School on Wheels tutor for one year. She is a former law firm Administrator and CPA.
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