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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Anticipatory reading guides

Reading Strategy: Anticipatory reading guides

ESOL Principles:

Most strategies can be used to support all seven of the ESOL principles dependent upon how the teacher decides to use the strategy within their teaching and learning planning cycle. This strategy is usually used to support:

Principle 1: Know the learner- finding out about learners’ language and schooling backgrounds and their prior knowledge, using approaches that build on prior knowledge. What do you know about your students' language skills? What do you know about their prior knowledge? How will you find out this information? How will it affect your planning?

Principle 3: Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes?

Principle 7: Include opportunities for monitoring and self-evaluation. Am I using 'think alouds' to show students my strategy use? What opportunities are there for reflection and self-evaluation?


Anticipatory reading guides:  are pre-reading activities which help students to connect their personal knowledge and experience and think about the ideas they will be reading. They also require the students to make predictions about the text.

The teacher prepares the guide by writing about six statements based on the main messages of the text that will be read. The students independently decide if they agree or disagree with each statement and then share their choice with a partner. After reading they revisit the guide and decide whether the text agreed or disagreed with each statement and they write in evidence from the text. Next they discuss their choices as a class/group.

video icon Secondary level: Making Language and Learning Work DVD 1 - Year 10 Science.

Teaching and learning sequence planning examples:

Secondary level:

Some possible Teacher Inquiry questions:

  • Have I written a range of open-ended statements that require the students to read literally, interpretively and inferentially?
  • Do my students appear to be more motivated during reading when an anticipatory guide is used?
  • Do my students engage more in the discussion of the text and bring their own experience and knowledge to the discussion?
  • What evidence do I have of my students using the reading comprehension strategies? How will I scaffold them for students who do not use the strategies? (The comprehension strategies are: Making connections; forming and testing hypotheses about texts; asking questions; creating mental images or visualising; inferring; identifying the writer’s purpose and point-of-view; identifying the main idea; summarising; analysing and synthesising; and evaluating ideas and information.)


Useful websites:

Published on: 14 Sep 2012