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Teaching Reading Online

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

How do you teach Reading online?

Many of us wonder about the future of children’s education in these uncertain times. Students are compelled to engage in online learning from their homes rather than sit inside a classroom with their classmates and teachers. Parents worry about the challenges and limitations of online learning specifically, while teachers and educators are concerned with the delivery methods of online lessons.

In particular, parents and teachers are apprehensive about the difficulties that online reading lessons bring s as well as the quality of learning it produces. However, students must continue to enhance their reading abilities and expand their reading knowledge despite these circumstances. Reading is a huge factor in the learning and character development of a child. Assisting children in acquiring reading skills equips them to decode letters and word combinations that aid the full range of language arts: language, speech, and comprehension. Teaching children reading skills at an early age helps them to develop good communication skills and become better, well equipped readers.

The looming question now is “How do you teach reading online?” First, online tutors need to know what sparks the interest of the student. Most students are visual learners, and, in such cases, an online tutor can select a story to capture the student’s attention. From that story, the online tutor can prepare a symbol that represents the theme of the story. In this way, the tutor sparks the student’s attention such that now the student is curious to hear the story. After bringing out the student’s curiosity, the online tutor builds the student’s vocabulary by showing pictures associated with the words and the words themselves. Through an animated presentation application, the online tutor can add animation or effects to the top of the pictures and words. Next, by using screen share, the online tutor can then show the student(s) the story complete with new words and animation!

The online tutor may also choose to use flashcards as visual aids. This time, the online tutor sends the link of the story to the child (who may or may not be assisted by the parent or guardian) and together they can do an online reading lesson from their screens. Afterward, the online tutor asks questions about the story. An effective way to determine how well the child understood the story is by asking “WH” questions (who, what where, why, when, and how).

Another great way to encourage online reading achievement is through the use of online games. Unfortunately, many teachers are reluctant to adopt computer games into their curriculum partly due to teachers’ negative perception of video games (Rice, 2007). However, many studies have shown that playing games is strongly linked with the improvement of motivation and, when sufficiently motivated, learning can be achieved (Hsu and Wang, 2010).

Online reading may present obstacles that parents and guardians feel hinder the reading abilities of students, but this is not all true. Learning does not stop despite certain conditions. Therefore, whether it is an online reading lesson or any other online lesson, the online tutor does his or her best to enhance the student’s reading abilities: in everything, there is reading!


Hsu, H., & Wang, S. (2009). Using Gaming Literacies to Cultivate New Literacies. Simulation & Gaming, 41(3), 400-417. doi:10.1177/1046878109355361

Rice, J.W. (2007). New media resistance: Barriers to implementation of computer video games in the classroom. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 16, 249-261.

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