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Using graded readers with technology


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How to use technology to get more out of graded readers (and to make them more exciting to language learners!)

Presentation by Tom Walton for Macmillan at various Teachers Days in Spain, 2012

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Using graded readers with technology

  1. 1. Graded readers withtechnologyTOM WALTONtomwalton@gmail.com
  2. 2. the challenge• take any one book to 25 kids*• who never normally read• who say they hatehate reading• and make them read it (¡¿qué?!)• and LIKELIKE it!*or 12 adults – or any group of learners
  3. 3. what you get from books• better vocabulary• better reading comprehension skills• a subject to talk and write about• an enjoyable, shared experience• success with EnglishWhen I talk with a friend I can be proud of mebecause I have read a book of Stephen King inEnglish
  4. 4. what to do with a reader• read it• teach reading skills• listen to it• talk about it• write about itBUT mostimportantis to…BUT mostimportantis to…
  5. 5. bring it alive!The door of number 13 openedsuddenly and an arm came out.The arm was thin and covered ingrey hairs. The fingernails werelong and dirty.Anderson shouted and pulledJensen away from the door. Thearm disappeared and the doorclosed. The sound of madlaughter came from number 13.
  6. 6. assumptions about ICT• we dont need any more exercises• the learners, not the teacher using it• NO kid needs your technical “help”!• a digital space to share things inMore on how we should use technologyMore on task design
  7. 7. BloggerMake it private !Make everyonean author !
  8. 8. EdmodoNow also as an app, for use in or outside class
  9. 9. Edmodo “small groups”Edmodo small groups
  10. 10. Speed readingTASK #1Read whatever you like (first page, chapter, covernotes, the cover illustration, other illustrations…),in 2 minutesDecide whether or not the book looks interesting*Note title and opinion, then switch booksCompare notes with a partner/group after 10-12mins. (5-6 books)Optionally Test each other on what you readSource: Docs forms or Edmodo polls to collect data*
  11. 11. photos people readingTASK #2Take photos of people readingthings(anything, it doesn’t have to be books!)Edit the photos if necessary,caption them and share them(blog, Edmodo...)Comment on other peoples photosFor editing photos: Pixlr.comMore on using (and creating) images
  12. 12. lists people readingTASK #3Make a list of thepeople you see readingShare your list onEdmodoNo repetition!ExamplesMan in a bar reading a textmessage on his mobileWoman reading anunidentified novel in theparkMan reading lottery ticketnumbers before buying oneWoman reading somethingon Kindle (?)Man reading Sport (BayernMunich 4, Barça 0!!!)Woman reading a recipe ina magazineStudent reading notes onthe Metro
  13. 13. Who was Ghandi (etc)?Or anyone else you like… but you must speakexclusively in English*TASK #4Ask your parents*, in English only• Who was Ghandi?• When was he born?• When did he die?• What did he do?• What did he achieve?Report back via Edmodo, quoting exactly whatthey said.
  14. 14. the Lady Di story (1)TASK #5Talk to people, exclusively inEnglish, see who can give you themost info. about Lady Di.Fit the info. into a singlesentence.Report back via Edmodo.
  15. 15. WordleTASK #6 With a partner, pick out the 15-20most important words, phrases, dates, names etc.from the storyPut them into Wordle, making the mostimportant words largestShare it with us and describe it to
  16. 16. !creative writing (1)TASK #7Pick out the elements (and vocab) from thetext that make the story a good ghost [love etc.]storyPool and discuss theseWrite your own stories (in pairs) using theaboveIllustrate your story in some wayShare it with us on our blog (or Edmodo)Comment on other peoples stories
  17. 17. creative writing (2)TASK #8Pick out all the different“texts” in the story we’veread.Write a new story made upof a series of different texts(letters, menus, signs,Facebook entries, Tweets…)Fake Facebook pages | Fake Twitter
  18. 18. creative writing (3)TASK #9 Write an alternative ending for the storyMore on creative writingTASK #10 Write a "modern" version of the storyTASK #11 Write the sequel / prequel
  19. 19. audioTASK #12In a group, take a section from the story andproduce it as a radio play, including soundeffects.For recording,, vocaroo.comShare it via Edmodo or our blog* andcomment on other peoples plays.Soundcloud also available as a brilliant app, to turn smartphones intorecording devices
  20. 20. !videoTASK #13Video a suitable scene from the storyWorks great with mobile phones (though thesound tends to be terrible)!IMPORTANT The opportunities for languagepractice in choosing, planning, scripting andrehearsingTIP Insist that audio or video is (a) well-rehearsedand (b) short (i.e. under 2 mins)
  21. 21. imaginary film versionTASK #14Create an imaginaryfilm version of thetext, including plotoutline, title, tagline,names of actors, etc,plus the posterShare it with us /Sellit to usAn example (in Spanish)Glogster for creating posters
  22. 22. VokiTASK #15 Pick out from thetext what we know about thecharacter.Voki the characterWrite (and/or record) a suitabletext.Share and comment your Vokivia blog/
  23. 23. comic strip makersTASK #16 Pick a suitable scene from thebook and illustrate and/or animate it
  24. 24. fantasy maps (etc)If I ruled the world, or at least a publishingcompany, all books would contain as muchsupplementary information as possible (…).Every work would have an appendix filled withdiagrams, background information,digressions and anecdata. And of course,maps | Victoria JohnsonTASK #17 How much of the story can you getinto a single drawing/collage/map/diagram…?Source
  25. 25. timelinesTASK #18Read through the text carefully, pick outthe main events and important dates and createa timeline for it.Share it with us.
  26. 26. oral presentationsTASK #19 Present the book you’ve read tothe class orally• short! (90 seconds, max. 3 slides or zooms)• stop mercilessly (but dont fail)• NO stolen images !!!• pairs, 3s or small groups• reason for listening (peer assessment?)• Q+A session (another 90 seconds)• help with performance (nerves, good .ppts)• short! (90 seconds, max. 3 slides or zooms)• stop mercilessly (but dont fail)• NO stolen images !!!• pairs, 3s or small groups• reason for listening (peer assessment?)• Q+A session (another 90 seconds)• help with performance (nerves, good .ppts)!
  27. 27. the Lady Di story (2)TASK #20Summarise the story in a single sentence*and post it on our class blog, illustrating it in someway with your own artworkAlternative: As above but with a limited number ofwords (exactly 50?)*
  28. 28. getting feedbackGoogle Docs forms
  29. 29. getting feedbackEdmodo polls
  30. 30. getting feedback“I think that coment the book in class, make me clearmore things.”“I like read a books in class, is better than do grammar,and in the same time you can learn vocabulary”“(....) is easy to understand and it isnt worry.”“Cati [the teacher] enjoy very much doing the class.”“No I didnt recomend because I didnt liked, I preferedthe books with action, or with afraid, but the love isalways the same and it hasnt got any emotion”This page: feedback from teenagers reading different graded readers
  31. 31. whatever you do…• Ensure that they read it!• Talk and write about it• DON’T let the technology take over• DON’T forget about the language learning• Make it an enjoyable experience• And above all achieve this…
  32. 32. TOM WALTONTOM WALTONtomwalton@gmail.com readersMacmillan guide to using readersMacmillan readers on TwitterMacmillan readers on Facebook