Strategy 5

5. Teachers provide ample opportunities for students to choose from a wide variety of reading material.

ELLs in the intermediate grades display a wide range of language and literacy levels. Proficiency in oral English does not necessarily mean that children can read well. Consequently, it may be more difficult to determine students' independent and instructional reading levels. Some beginning ELLs in grades 4-6 may require materials typically used in lower grades, such as simplified easy readers or high-interest materials at a low reading level.

ELLs and their parents may be unfamiliar with the range of reading materials and genres available in the classroom, school, and public libraries. They may need explicit orientation to resources, where to find them, and how to select books at an appropriate level of difficulty.

Effective teachers and librarians make sure that their bookshelves contain books and periodicals at a range of reading levels to accommodate beginning to advanced readers, as well as a variety of topics related to ELLs' places of origin (e.g., biographies of famous people, fables, folktales, poetry, history, and informational books). When students can borrow and share these materials with their families, connections between home and school are strengthened. Teachers may want to investigate bilingual software and online resources for students in students' home languages.