Skip to Content
NET Section LogoNET Section Small Logo

Strategies for Teaching Reading and Writing

Credit: My Cute Graphics (

In 2004, the revised English Language Curriculum Guide (ELCG) was launched. As part of the curriculum reform it was suggested that the school-based English programmes should include a 40% Reading Workshop component. The NET Section supported the curriculum reform through the development of three Primary Literacy Programmes – namely PLP-R (2004), PLP-R/W (2007), and Space Town Literacy Programme (2015). These programmes provide direction and guidance for the teaching of literacy with a focus on reading and writing, as well as the tools necessary for the assessment of student needs and the knowledge of how they read and write. 

We encourage schools in setting up supportive language-rich whole school and classroom environments and establishing classroom and resource management systems. The five strategies for teaching reading include: storytelling, reading aloud, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading; and the two strategies for teaching writing: shared writing and process writing.


Storytelling involves the teacher telling a story with the use of pictures or real objects, e.g. puppets or storyboards, to support students’ understanding of the content. Students are provided with opportunities to participate in the story and develop some listening and basic reading skills. After Storytelling activities can include retelling the story or role-play.

Reading Aloud

Reading aloud involves the teacher reading aloud a text and demonstrating a positive attitude to reading, reading behaviour and book orientation. Students are provided with opportunities to enjoy a variety of texts and to engage with the text afterwards through activities, such as discussion and mime.

Shared Reading

Shared reading involves teachers modelling, instructing and explaining reading skills and strategies through sharing the reading process with students. They read and reread the text, e.g. a big book or picture book, involving the students more and more with the reading. Students are provided with opportunities to learn and develop the skills, strategies and confidence needed to participate in guided and independent reading as well as the home reading programme. They complete after-reading activities either as a whole class, in groups or individually.

Guided Reading

Guided reading involves teachers working with individual students or small groups of students with similar learning needs. Teachers provide opportunities for students to practise strategies they have learned. Students read books at their instructional levels. 

Independent and Home Reading

Independent reading involves teachers providing uninterrupted time for students to enjoy the reading experience, as well as practising and integrating skills and strategies they have learned. Students read books at their independent reading levels. 

Home reading involves teachers selecting books to be read at home with the guidance and encouragement of parents or guardians. Students practise and apply the strategies and skills they have learned. The letter books provided revisit and consolidate the sounds taught in class while the small books revisit and consolidate the taught language structures.

Shared Writing

Shared writing involves: teachers modelling to students, teachers interacting with students while scribing their ideas, and sharing the pen, to teach writing skills and strategies. The teachers and students jointly deconstruct a text to identify the purpose, text structure and associated language features. They then jointly construct the text, with the students becoming more involved with the writing. Through the shared writing approach, students are provided with opportunities to learn and develop writing skills, strategies and confidence needed to participate in guided and independent writing. Students are prepared to write independently.

Process Writing

Process writing focuses on the development of writing skills through the various steps involved in drafting and redrafting a piece of writing. It acknowledges the process that writers use when writing. These steps of pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing and publishing, are recursive, i.e. the steps can be revisited as many times as the writer requires to make the piece satisfactory. Thus, the emphasis in process writing is as much on the process as on the product. The steps of process writing need to be made explicit to students through a range of teaching strategies, such as shared writing and guided writing

To find out more about our primary literacy programmes, please visit 'Space Town Literacy Programme for KS1' , 'Primary Literacy Programme – Reading and Writing (Key Stage 1) [ PLP -R/W (KS1)]''Development of Text Sets (DTS)', 'Key Stage 2 Integration Programme (KIP)' and 'Keys 2 Literacy Development (Keys2)' through the embedded links. 

Education Bureau LogoEducation Bureau Logo