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Tips to Get a Low-Interest Reader Fully Engaged

A low-interest reader is any student who's not engaged in assigned texts. These students would rather participate in other activities and may even actively resist reading. You'll notice that a low-interest reader may misbehave, get frustrated, or have to be convinced to pick up a book. If you notice a pattern of such behavior, you may be dealing with a low-interest reader.

A student may be a low-interest reader for various reasons, such as disinterest in a particular topic or lack of skills in a specific reading area. Another reason could be that your student has a low concentration span. You may not be able to fully identify the reason, but you can help your student become more interested in reading with these tips.

Embrace Reading for Fun

In the classroom, students associate reading with work at all times. After a reading activity, students have to summarize, complete tests, or answer questions. The activities or work associated with reading are essential for the literal growth of the students. However, it makes low-interest readers less interested because they expect to work after reading. 

It may help for reading to be solely fun. Allow the students to select reading materials and let them read for a while without attaching tasks. A low-interest reader will feel like there is no burden tied to the reading.

The idea of participating in a reading activity with no expectations later on, makes it easy. The student will therefore be fully present and engaged as they try to grasp the content of the reading. Reading now becomes more fun and understanding than work.

Emphasize the Power of Choice

Low-interest readers could be unenthusiastic about particular topics or themes. The reading materials you choose may be part of the topics they dislike. Emphasizing the power of choice makes them choose what they feel they can read. The freedom gives them ownership of their learning.

You may notice that a low-interest reader will start to pick certain books with certain fonts or formats. The books they pick could also be centered on a specific theme. The engagement level may elevate because the low-interest reader could be more interested in a book they choose. You could also gear that reading toward something you're learning as a class.

Create Reading Groups

All students need to interact with their peers within and outside the classroom. The interactions help in improving the student's confidence and interpersonal skills. A teacher or instructor leading the reading activities all the time may be monotonous. A low-interest leader may be more disengaged if you don't find other ways to ensure they're present.

Create small groups or divide the students based on their level of interest. Let the students hold reading activities and discuss amongst themselves. Peers can positively influence each other. A low-interest reader can stay fully engaged in the small discussion.

Small groups allow for transparency, and no one is ever left behind. The rest of the group can go with the pace of the low-interest readers, and learning can move forward in a progressive and inclusive format. 

Incorporate Movements and Hands-On Activities

Reading with no activity becomes monotonous after some time, especially for a low-interest leader. Incorporating movement and hands-on activities keep a low-interest reader engaged.

For example, if a section in the book needs illustrations, involve the students in creating them. Let them put the books aside and devise ways for them to act out the scenes. Engage the students and also incorporate some of their ideas. The reading activities become more interesting and engaging. You'll realize that even a low-interest student may start looking forward to reading sessions.

Listen and Understand

As an instructor, you must consider listening to students to understand their perspectives. It gives you a different thought as they can help you identify what they need.

If you notice a low-interest reader, have regular sessions with them. Allow them to tell you what they like and what they enjoy reading. You can gain much insight from interacting with students. When you finally understand what they like, try and center the reading materials within those areas.

A low-interest reader doesn't indicate that they are stubborn or hard-headed. You only have to be keen on their interests and progress with reading. Take that chance to find ways to make a low-interest reader fully engaged. A low-interest reader can thrive with support, understanding, and patience.

Written by Steve Ndar
Education World Contributor
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