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Articles on reading

What kind of questions should you ask your learners about the texts they read? Read our writers' ideas below.

BritLit - 10 years in the making

I can still remember the faces when I suggested a method of dealing with what most teachers of English considered one of their pet horrors, extended reading. The room was full of tired teachers, and many were quite cynical about the offer to work together to create a new and dynamic approach to the place of stories in the classroom.

Revisiting texts

We often encourage our students to infer words from the context as they read and, as a result, they fail to notice useful lexis in the texts we use.

Using texts constructively: what are texts for?

Text use may seem a dull topic after all the exciting matters that other guest writers have dealt with recently. 

Reading out loud

As a teacher I had always perceived 'reading aloud' as a 'taboo' in the EFL classroom since it focuses specifically on a 'bottom-up' approach where learners can fall into traps of worrying about 100% comprehension or simply read aloud without understanding the text.

Teaching the tale: language and memory

A feature that is common both to language teaching and to traditional folk and fairy tales is the repetition of phrases or ‘language chunks’. 

Using texts constructively 2: intensive input-output work

This is the second of Michael Swan's articles for TeachingEnglish, in which he looks at the role of texts in the learning process.

What's the question?

This is a pair-work reading, (speaking) and grammar-based activity for elementary students. It mainly practises question formation, reading comprehension and the ability to identify and correct factual mistakes in a text.

Using news articles

Topical news stories are a great source of teaching material. This article presents different ways to exploit news reports in the classroom and focuses on raising the level of involvement and participation that the students have in the lesson.

Extensive reading: why it is good for our students… and for us.

In this, the first of two articles for TeachingEnglish, Alan Maley considers the benefits extensive reading can bring to English language learners and teachers.

Producing your own grammar activities

There are many ways of revising and consolidating grammar, but I've found it's often useful to give students short passages containing grammar mistakes which are characteristic of the student's level, nationality, and what the teacher may have identified as areas of particular strength or weakness.

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What's the question?

This is a pair-work reading, (speaking) and grammar-based activity for elementary students. It mainly practises question formation, reading comprehension and the ability to identify and correct factual mistakes in a text.

Techniques for form focus after reading

In my earlier articles Reading for informationForm focus and recycling, and Techniques for Priming and recycling, I set out a four stage cycle for teaching reading.

BritLit - 10 years in the making

I can still remember the faces when I suggested a method of dealing with what most teachers of English considered one of their pet horrors, extended reading. The room was full of tired teachers, and many were quite cynical about the offer to work together to create a new and dynamic approach to the place of stories in the classroom.

Teaching the tale: language and memory

A feature that is common both to language teaching and to traditional folk and fairy tales is the repetition of phrases or ‘language chunks’. 

Producing your own grammar activities

There are many ways of revising and consolidating grammar, but I've found it's often useful to give students short passages containing grammar mistakes which are characteristic of the student's level, nationality, and what the teacher may have identified as areas of particular strength or weakness.

Theories of reading 2

This article is the second of two parts. The first part looked at some of the shifts and trends in theories relating to reading. This second part will examine tips and guidelines for implementing a theory of reading which will help to develop our learner's abilities.

How useful are comprehension questions?

You may well ask me “How useful is the question in this title?” After all to check what a student has understood after listening to or reading an L2 text seems plain common sense. If it were not felt to be a sensible procedure why would course book writers supply comprehension questions in large quantities?

Extensive reading: why it is good for our students… and for us.

In this, the first of two articles for TeachingEnglish, Alan Maley considers the benefits extensive reading can bring to English language learners and teachers.

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BritLit - 10 years in the making

I can still remember the faces when I suggested a method of dealing with what most teachers of English considered one of their pet horrors, extended reading. The room was full of tired teachers, and many were quite cynical about the offer to work together to create a new and dynamic approach to the place of stories in the classroom.

Designing a WWW reading task - reading article

Designing a WWW reading task

The world wide web offers a myriad of opportunities for authentic English reading texts.

Extensive reading - reading article

Extensive reading

In general, students learning to read in English do not like reading and they rarely read. This is partly due to the way reading is approached in the language class.

Extensive reading: why it is good for our students… and for us.

In this, the first of two articles for TeachingEnglish, Alan Maley considers the benefits extensive reading can bring to English language learners and teachers.

Form focus and recycling: getting grammar

In my last article, Reading for Information: Motivating learners to read efficiently, I referred to four stages in a task-based reading lesson.

How useful are comprehension questions?

You may well ask me “How useful is the question in this title?” After all to check what a student has understood after listening to or reading an L2 text seems plain common sense. If it were not felt to be a sensible procedure why would course book writers supply comprehension questions in large quantities?

Interacting with texts - Directed activities related to texts (DARTs) - reading article

Interacting with texts - Directed activities related to texts (DARTs)

Good readers use what they know about language and the world to interact with what they are reading. This helps them create meaning from the words on the page.

Making reading communicative

If telling my students "And now we're going to practise listening," elicits looks of dread and fear, announcing reading practice can often elicit yawns, heads descending to desks, or eyes ascending heavenwards.

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