University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Teaching International and Multilingual Students

Promoting Reading Comprehension

  • Given that it takes longer to read effectively in a non-native language, students can read more efficiently when they have a clear idea of the purpose of the reading assignment. For example, is the reading intended to provide general familiarity with a range of views or is it information that needs to be studied and retained in detail?
  • Clarifying what you want students to get out of a reading can improve both their comprehension and time management. Give them a list of key terms or concepts to look for, or questions you want them to find the answers to.
  • Consider using in-class group discussion and/or discussion boards on Blackboard as an opportunity to expand on reading assignments. Be sure that the groups include a mix of both American and international students.
  • Let students know they can visit you or their TAs during office hours to ask questions.
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