Üsküdar SEV Middle School, Turkey has been using the Accelerated Reader programme since 2018 to build students' English language reading skills. Üsküdar SEV strives to develop perseverance and curiosity among their students to learn multiple languages to understand and communicate with the people of the world. Towards this end AR provides pupils with a platform for systematic reading.
We spoke to John Moorcroft, English Library Teacher at Üsküdar SEV Middle School for insights on ways to use Accelerated Reader effectively.
” Accelerated Reader is of great benefit to our school as the system provides a framework for students to read widely and far beyond the books taught in the classroom.”
Extensive reading is invaluable for developing reading skills, fluency, and vocabulary knowledge. Accelerated Reader is of great benefit to our school as the system provides a framework for students to read widely and far beyond the books taught in the classroom. Most importantly AR gives structure to book reading outside school. Reading for pleasure is the most powerful motivation but, like it or not, students also respond to a points system. Accelerated Reader quiz scores provide another reason to read, a way to keep track of extensive reading, and a useful tool for feedback to students and parents. The system has increased library circulation and is popular with stakeholders.
“Star Reading is invaluable in ensuring students read appropriately without becoming overwhelmed by texts that are too dense or underachieving by reading texts with too low a vocabulary load.”
Accelerated Reader is managed by the English department, making extensive reading a formal part of the English curriculum. The system is implemented through visits to the school library and silent reading time, which would be given much less importance without AR.
Students are only allowed to take one test per day. This is to prevent students from repeatedly trying to score points for books they have not read or only skimmed through.
Medium-term targets for AR teach time management. Students are responsible for reading at their own pace towards these goals, although we do also provide weekly targets as a guide.
The Star Reading assessment tool from Renaissance puts each student into a reading level band tailored to their language development needs. Star Reading is invaluable in ensuring students read appropriately without becoming overwhelmed by texts that are too dense or underachieving by reading texts with too low a vocabulary load. The challenge set by the book levels assigned by AR is appropriate for learners of English as a Second Language and we can see that regular reading with the student’s ZPD does lead to vocabulary growth. Without AR it would be impossible for teachers to guide students to appropriate reading throughout the year, let alone monitor their work and give feedback.
Accelerated Reader tests are available for a huge range of topics and genres, including the most popular series. Students are not limited to books from the school library. We allow students to source their reading material elsewhere, including online.