Up against the wall

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Up against the wall

  1. 1. Reading Activities for EFL classes ETRC presentation 22 January 2014 Presenter: Alina Mardari, university lecturer, SPU “Ion Creanga”, Chisinau
  2. 2. Up Against the Wall Levels: any Aims: Practise reading for main ideas Class Time: Varies depending on the length of the reading passage Resources: Reading texts from books we teach.
  3. 3. Procedure: 1. Make up one question for each main idea of the reading passage. For beginning classes , these can be true/false, cloze with a choice, or multiple choice. 2. Cut the passage into sections according to its paragraphs. Fasten the paragraphs to the walls of the classroom, making sure that each paragraph can be read easily by several people at the same time.
  4. 4. 3. Place the students in pairs, and give each pair one question. Instruct the students to read the paragraphs on the walls of the classroom until they find the answer to their question. 4. When they have returned to their seats, distribute copies of the complete reading passage and go over the answers.
  5. 5. Caveats and Options 1. For more proficient readers , use questions that require students to make inferences. 2. With more proficient readers , ask questions that can not be answered by reading the passage. 3. To encourage more group work , have pairs with the same question discuss their answers. 4. Use the activity as a pre-reading or whilereading activity.
  6. 6. Mixed Up Comprehension Levels: Any Resources: Passages from students’ reading text or other sources. Class Time: 30-45 minutes
  7. 7. 15-year-old girl found asleep on a crane 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Where was the girl discovered? Who saw her? When did he see her? Who did he call? When did they arrive? What did they think she was doing there? What was she doing in fact? Who did they call? How long did it take them to rescue her? What did the police discover after speaking to the girl’s parents? 11. How had she been able to enter the building site? 12. Had she done that before?
  8. 8. Yesterday a 15-year-old girl was discovered lying on top of a 40-metre-high crane. A passerby saw her when he was walking past a building site in Dulwich, south-east London, and immediately called the police. The police and the fire brigade arrived at 1.30 in the morning. At first they thought the girl was suicidal but when a fireman climbed up the crane he realized she was asleep. The fireman crawled along the crane and carefully put a safety harness on the girl. Then the fireman called the girl’s parents, who came quickly to the building site. The rescue took two hours and the girl was brought safely down from the crane on a ladder.
  9. 9. After talking to her parents, the police discovered that the girl had been sleepwalking. She had left her house during the night, and had been able to get into the building site because the security guard was watching TV. Her parents said that it wasn’t the first time that she had sleepwalked, and she had never left the house before.
  10. 10. Procedure: 1. Make up 5-10 comprehension questions based on the reading passage selected. 2. Write the questions on the board or the questions prepared on a handout. 3. Have students write a reading passage that answers the questions. The students can use their imagination and write anything, but the passage must be able to answer every question. 4. Read the stories out aloud. 5. Compare with original reading.
  11. 11. Getting the Idea • • • • • • • • • Levels: Intermediate + Aims: Reduce students’ dependency on a dictionary. Encourage students’ acceptance of uncertainty Discourage excessive concern over the meaning of every word in a passage Cultivate the habit of general reading in English Class time: 50 minutes Preparation time: 20 minutes Resources: any reading passage
  12. 12. Procedure: 1. Select a suitable text and give it a title or heading in necessary. Replace the main ideas with blank spaces 2. Divide the class into groups of four or five students and provide each student with a copy of the doctored passage. 3. Ask the students, working in groups, to examine the passage, discuss it, and then write group summaries of what they think the main ideas are. 4. Allow approximately 10 minutes for the students to complete the task, then collect the summaries and the copies of the text.
  13. 13. 5. Provide each student with an undoctored copy of the passage. The groups read it and write the second summary. 6. Display both variants of the summaries on the blackboard. Ask the class as a whole to identify any differences, if any, between the summaries in each set and discuss their significance. For example, do any changes in the second summary really add to an understanding of the main idea of the passage? 7. Round off the exercise with a look at any unfamiliar words. Check if the students have correctly inferred their meanings. Finally, ask them weather their understanding of these words changes the gist of the text
  14. 14. Caveats and Options 1. The whole or general meaning is contained in the parts of the passage the students first see and in the title, so the deleted words may provide details. Students can see, however, that they have little or no impact on the general meaning. 2. Without the frantic pursuit of word-to-word understanding implicit in intensive reading , students gain the confidence to employ the inference and prediction skills already learnt and to accept uncertainty as normal.
  15. 15. Ten Things to do Before Reading 1. Ask students to brainstorm for answers to the following questions, then write the ideas on the board. • Look at the title and the headings for each section. What do you think this passage is going to be about? • Look at the pictures. What do you think this passage is going to be about? • Read the first and the last paragraphs and the first sentence of each paragraph. What do you think the passage is going to be about?
  16. 16. • Read the title. Now quickly scan the passage and circle all the words that have a connection to the title. • Scan the passage and cross out all the words you do not know. After you read the passage again carefully, look up the words in a dictionary. • After looking at the title, pictures and so on, brainstorm the specific words you expect to see in the passage. • After looking at the title and pictures, make up some questions you think the passage might answer
  17. 17. • What kind of passage is this? (fiction? nonfiction?) Why would somebody read this? For information? Pleasure? 2. Choose words from the passage and write them on the board. Ask students to scan the passage and circle them. 3. Tell a story about the background of the reading passage, or summarize the passage itself. Ask students to take notes or draw a picture of the story as you speak. 4. Have everyone read the passage.

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