In this quick post, I share five tips to make your reading more engaging and entertaining for your learners. I have also supplemented the post with a video for those that want to watch something for 5 minutes.
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Tip Number 1: Cut Up The Reading
Rather than handing out the text for students just to read and then answer the comprehension questions, cut up the text into small paragraphs or with several sentences together. Once you have cut up the text, hand it out to students so that they reorganise it and put it in order. You could get students working together and make it slightly competitive by giving them a time limit to complete this. This task helps students recognise connected or linking patterns to the text and will be getting students to understand how they can be used. So, try this activity out!
Tip Number 2: Jigsaw Reading
This activity is really engaging for students as they will either have the same text with different missing information or text on a similar topic. Hand out two or more different versions of the text to students and they must read the text. Once they have finished, get students to explain what they have read to each other. They will focus on communicating and listening to their partner. Once students have completed sharing their information, you could either get learners to focus on comprehension questions which you could organise or from the course book.
Tip Number 3: Student Questions
It can be really boring for students to follow the comprehension questions in the book as it is just checking how much information a student can retain rather than getting them to use the text. For this activity, put students into small groups and they can then create their own personal comprehension questions. Then re-distribute the questions to other groups and they must complete them. It saves you having to create your own questions and gets students to focus on the reading in detail. It is a very simple and engaging activity.
Tip Number 4: The Famous Gap-Fill
The gap-fill activity is a great activity for a variety of tasks: reading, listening, vocabulary, etc. For reading, remove the target language from the reading and students then just have to decide on the correct word to go in the gap. It is a really simple activity and gets learners focusing more on the language that you wish to review.
Tip Number 5: Dictogloss The Reading
I first encountered dictogloss around 9 years ago and it transformed my teaching practice. I now try to use this approach with some of my reading. Dictogloss is essentially a dictation activity. You read out the text at normal speed a number of times and each time students have to write down particular words. The first time could be all the verbs that they hear, the second time the nouns, the third time the adjectives and the fourth time any other phrases or words. Once students have written out all the words, they work in groups to rewrite the text using all words. It can be really engaging and challenging for students as they focus solely on listening, writing and note-taking during this task.
I created a video about dictogloss below if you are unsure and need a little more information about this method. Feel free to watch it below.
I hope the following post is useful. Please let me know your favourite reading tasks that you have tried in the comments.
Thank you and happy teaching! 😀