Here are two text quickies that I like to use with my learners to prepare them for reading or to follow up on a text they have read.

Lindsay Clandfield

They can easily be used with any text and take no longer than five minutes each.

Pair text predictions

This is a before-reading activity.


  • Find a picture that can go with your text. If there isn't a picture already with it (from a newspaper for example) use an internet image search to find something suitable.
  • Show the students the picture and tell them it is related to the text they are going to read. Then put it on the board.
  • Tell students to work in pairs, A and B. Write two key words from the text up on the board next to the picture. Ask the As to tell the Bs what they think the text will be about, based on the picture and the two words. Give a couple of minutes, then stop them.
  • Write two more key words, and ask the Bs to do the same, explaining to A what they think the text is about and including the key words. After two minutes, stop them as well.
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4, adding more words each time.
  • When you've done a dozen or so words, distribute the text for the students to read to themselves. Whose predictions were closer as to what was in the text?

Text recap

This is an after-reading activity.


  • Tell students to hide the text (close their books, or turn the page over if the text is on a handout).
  • Choose a paragraph or two from the text (if it's a short text you can do this with the whole thing). Explain that you are going to read the paragraph(s) aloud and that, when you pause, the students should supply the missing word.
  • Read the text and pause at different areas. Pause before words that should be easily guessed. This could be to highlight grammatical features (pausing before a certain preposition, or verb form) or lexical features (pausing before a collocation, or new word that the students learnt during the lesson).
  • When you pause, raise your eyes and wait for students to call out the missing word. When they call out the correct word, continue reading.
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