One of the weaknesses demonstrated by students in the ELC is reading. There are numerous reasons for this, ranging from poor vocabulary and vocabulary engagement strategies, poor world knowledge leading to context weakness, and just weak reading skills period, such as being able to skim, scan, and read for various depths of comprehension and analysis. Students typically are very weak at the skill of critical analysis of text as they often come from cultures where it is expected that they simply memorize texts, not analyse or criticize them. They are not taught to engage with the texts in their own language, so it is made harder to engage in a second language. Getting students to practice forms of annotation beyond merely noting unknown words and writing down their L1 translations ought to be the primary objective of ESL teachers at higher levels. Students need to be afraid not to scribble all over their texts and papers. Tablet computers with touch screens have numerous reading apps that facilitate such annotation.
365 ESL Short Stories (with questions and vocabulary exercises)
ESL Reading (worth exploring the links on this website)
Here are some useful websites about annotation.
Literary Elements (Kim’s Corner)