TeachingEnglish

Programme 9: Teacher reading

'Teaching reading' is a subject at the very heart of learning. What steps can we take to make students more confident readers? And how can we find a variety of materials - or 'texts' - for our students to read?

  

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Pink Bow Tie

A fourteen year old finds himself in trouble with the school Principal – again. This time, however, he has a genuine excuse, but is he likely to be believed?

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Socialising 1: Breaking the ice

For many people, the idea of walking into a room full of strangers and trying to socialise with them can be terrifying, especially if you have to use a foreign language. The barriers to ‘breaking the ice’ in a situation like this are just as much psychological as linguistic, which is why this lesson aims to get students thinking about the situation (through a quiz-based discussion and jigsaw reading) as much as speaking and practicing the skill of starting conversations with strangers.

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Negotiations 2: Positions and interests

The key to successful negotiation is preparation and research. This means finding out exactly what you want from the negotiation, and why you want it. This lesson includes a discussion, vocabulary input, a reading activity, useful language for negotiation, team problem solving and a role play in pairs.

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Negotiations 3: Questioning and clarifying

In a negotiation, it’s very important to know when to speak, when to ask and when to shut up and listen. In this lesson students rank and discuss the stages of negotiation, do a reading activity and look at negotiations vocabulary, examine question types, then finish with a role play to practise clarifying, summarising and responding.

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Socialising 3: Social networking

Why is it that when you go to a conference or business gathering, everyone else seems to know each other already? At least part of the answer to the puzzle seems to be social networking: getting to know business contacts online first, so that by the time you meet face to face for the first time, you already have plenty to talk about. For many people, social networking is seen as something to do instead of work. This lesson emphasises that social networking is real work. The lesson introduces useful language and techniques, building up to a large social networking simulation at the end.

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Be Near Me

This extract from Andrew O’Hagan’s novel, Be Near Me, is centred around a boat trip that the narrator – a priest – is taking with two of his young parishioners. Mark, a 15-year-old boy, is recalling a football match that, temporarily, seemed to bring him a little closer to his father.

The boat trip itself seems to cast a magical spell on the trio. Will they be the same afterwards?

You can download the student worksheet and teacher’s notes below. You can also listen to the audio and read the transcript.

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TeachingEnglish

Lament

Gillian Clarke's poem, Lament, is an elegy, an expression of grief. It can be a sad, military tune played on a bugle. The poem uses the title as the start of a list of lamented people, events, creatures and other things hurt in the war. All the details in the poem came from reports in the media.

You can download the student worksheet and teacher’s notes below. You can also listen to the audio and read the transcript.

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TeachingEnglish

The Chain

This extract is taken from Keith Gray's novel, The Chain. The extract deals with a young girl who gets engrossed in reading from a book to her father, who is dying in hospital. She is discovering the inner joy and power of books.

When her father dies she wonders what to do with the book that bound them so closely together in his last days.

You can download the student worksheet and teacher’s notes below. You can also listen to the audio and read the transcript.

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TeachingEnglish

Stone Cradle

This extract from Louise Doughty's novel, Stone Cradle, concerns the tragedy of infant mortality, particularly in vulnerable communities where the poorest members don't have the means to bury their babies.  This vignette from the novel gives us a graveside view of secret burials carried out by a vicar helping the most impoverished in the community.

It is told by a young woman who is herself pregnant and whose unborn child is thus at risk from the sickness sweeping the village. Out of this tragedy the young woman sees comfort in an unexpected way.  The background for the story is a Romany community, and some Romany names and words are used.

You can download the student worksheet and teacher’s notes below. You can also listen to the audio and read the transcript.

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