Teaching ESL/EFL Reading and Writing: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Teaching ESL/EFL Reading and Writing

1st Edition

By I.S.P. Nation


172 pages

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pub: 2008-08-14
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Using a framework based on principles of teaching and learning, this guide for teachers and teacher trainees provides a wealth of suggestions for helping learners at all levels of proficiency develop their reading and writing skills and fluency. By following these suggestions, which are organized around four strands – meaning-focused input, meaning-focused output, language-focused learning, and fluency development – teachers will be able to design and present a balanced program for their students.

Teaching ESL/EFL Reading and Writing, and its companion text, Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking, are similar in format and the kinds of topics covered, but do not need to be used together. Drawing on research and theory in applied linguistics, their focus is strongly hands-on, featuring

  • easily applied principles,
  • a large number of useful teaching techniques, and
  • guidelines for testing and monitoring,

All Certificate, Diploma, Masters and Doctoral courses for teachers of English as a second or foreign language include a teaching methods component. The texts are designed for and have been field tested in such programs.

Table of Contents

Selected Contents:

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Learning to read in another language 1

Learning to read in the first language

Learning to read in another language

Principles for teaching reading

Chapter 2 Learning to recognise and spell words

Prerequisites for formal reading instruction

Phonics and the alphabetic principle

The role of phonics in a reading programme

Spelling: productive phonics

Learning to spell

Designing a focused spelling programme

Chapter 3 Intensive reading

Focuses in intensive reading

Features of a good reading exercise

Are comprehension questions good reading exercises?

Comprehension of the text

The focus of comprehension questions

Grammar features in the text

Cohesive devices

Strategy development

Standardized reading procedures

Handling the exercises

The role of teaching exercises

Chapter 4 Extensive reading

Understand the goals and limitations of extensive reading

Find your learners= present vocabulary level

Provide plenty of interesting and appropriate reading texts

Set, encourage and monitor large quantities of extensive reading

Support and supplement extensive reading with language focused learning and fluency development

Help learners move systematically through the graded reader levels

Simplified and unsimplified texts

The extensive reading programme

Chapter 5 Reading faster

The nature and limits of reading speed

The nature of fluency development

The nature of fluency development activities

Increasing oral reading speed

Increasing careful silent reading speed

Increasing silent expeditious reading speed

Frequently asked questions about reading speed

Chapter 6 Assessing reading


Measuring achievement

Diagnosing problems

Measuring reading proficiency

Issues in making and using comprehension tests

Chapter 7 Helping learners write

Principles for teaching writing

Designing tasks

Experience tasks

Bringing tasks within the learners' experience

Making sure learners have the experience to do a task

Shared tasks

Guided tasks

Independent tasks

Using the four kinds of tasks

Chapter 8 The writing process

The parts of a writing programme

Meaning-focused writing

The parts of the writing process

Considering the goals of the writer and model of the reader

Gathering ideas

Ideas to text



Diagnosing control of the parts of the writing process

Diagnosing from the written product

Chapter 9 Topic types

The topic type hypothesis

Topic types and writing

Topic types and reading

Limitations of the topic type approach

Chapter 10 Responding to written work


Improving the quality of writing

Measuring proficiency in writing

Appendix 1 Spelling correspondences

Appendix 2 Conjunction relationships


About the Author

I.S.P. Nation is Professor of Applied Linguistics in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Reading & Phonics
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / English as a Second Language
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General