Choice of material
I have chosen a Cycle Hire leaflet as my material. I would use it with a group of elementary learners. It is a leaflet which describes how to rent bikes in London, how much does it cost, what are the benefits of becoming a member, how and where to use it.
On the other side of the leaflet there is a map of central London with the docking locations where to rent the bikes. I have chosen this authentic material because I believe it is a good reading task for the students, it’s informative, easy to understand and use, it explains the costs, the usage and payment options. It gives an idea how to travel and enjoy London in a different way and maybe ...view middle of the document...
Many learners approach reading texts expecting to read them thoroughly and to stop only when they have understood every word.
This kind of approach does not necessarily make them into better readers, because this word-by-word approach is not the way that we most often do our reading in real life. In order to make students better readers, we need first of all raise their awareness that it’s not always essential to understand every word, and that practising some different reading techniques in English may be very useful to them. And if their basic strategy is read slowly, then a good first strategy could be to help them learn to read fast; not worrying about understanding every word, but still achieving a specific goal.
Many activities designed to increase reading speed are variations on the following two ideas:
-read quickly and get the gist of a passage.
-read quickly and find a specific piece of information.
The first of these is also known as skimming. It is fast reading for: key topics, main ideas, overall themes, etc.
The second of the ideas is also known as scanning. It is fast reading for: specific individual pieces of information (e.g. names, dates, prices, numbers, dates, etc.)Many reading lessons move from ‘top-down’-from overview to details. Using the task-feedback circle as a starting point, we can plan a route map for a basic reading lesson.
Introduction and lead-in get the learners interested in the topic; make an explicit link between the topic of the text and the students’ own lives and experiences.
First task, (pre-reading), predict some information (key words, headlines), read questions about the text.
Tasks to focus on fast reading for gist (skimming), e.g. check texts against predictions made beforehand.
Tasks to focus on fast reading for specific details (scanning), e.g. find single items of information in the text.
Tasks to focus on meaning, discuss issues, compare viewpoints.
Follow on task, role play, debate, and personalisation.
(Have you ever had an experience like this one?)
Conclusion, tie up loose ends, review what has been learned. (Scrivener, 2005)
Speaking is a skill by which students are judged while first impressions are being formed.
But learning to speak competently is a complex task (Hedge, 2000).
For many learners, their ‘passive’ knowledge is much larger than their ‘active’ language. Without experience in using the language, learners may tend to be nervous about trying to say things. The aim of a conversation class is for learners to ‘become more fluent and confident’. One of the best ways to help learners activate this knowledge is to put them in ‘safe’ situations in...