English literacy is the ability to read, write, and comprehend the English language sufficiently. Teaching English literacy can be a challenge, so the first step in developing a plan for literacy lessons is to assess the types of students that are being taught. The methods for teaching a non-native English speaker, for example, may be different than the lessons designed for a student who has adult-level spoken English. If the class has mixed levels of ability — which it is very likely to — the teacher will need to adapt lessons for the varying ability levels.
Pre-assessments are brief tests that will examine a student's English literacy skills. These tests may or may not be graded, but they will certainly be examined carefully by the teacher to gauge a student's existing knowledge of the English language. This is a valuable tool for a teacher because it will help the teacher identify a specific student's strengths and weaknesses fairly quickly. A pre-assessment may include a written portion, a reading comprehension portion, and even a vocabulary portion that will address some of the primary concerns of English literacy. The teacher can use this information to tailor lesson plans to the class, or to come up with strategies for adapting lesson plans for a variety of students.
Vocabulary development is an essential part of English literacy development, and it should take place in concordance with all other teaching elements. A student is more likely to become proficient in speaking, writing, and reading English as his or her vocabulary grows; it may be necessary to start with simpler words and progress from there. It will also help to tie the vocabulary words in with the current lessons. A teacher can choose words from a reading assignment or from a lesson given in class so the students can use the words in everyday situations.
Reading both silently and aloud will be very important for the English language learner. Reading aloud will help a student hear the words more clearly and understand when he or she has made a mistake in reading. Many students are auditory learners, meaning they learn more efficiently when they hear lessons rather than read them. Such out loud reading time will help auditory learners understand sentence structure and grammar. Reading silently will encourage students to synthesize materials they are reading and help them learn to recall that information later on during assessments or discussions.