I remember when I was a school student that I loved reading lessons. There were no wrong answers. Just read. If it was a silent reading lesson then you didn’t even have to do that – you could just daydream in the direction of your book.
Not everyone loved those lessons, though. Apparently reading is not so well liked among students. Yet reading is an important skill to master for an EFL student.
Reading might be met with yawns and sighs of disapproval in the classroom. In fact, you might even feel apathetic towards it yourself. However, along with writing, speaking and listening, it makes up one of the four main English skills.
Reading doesn’t require any output from the student other than the ability to pronounce the words. Or so you might think. Your role as a teacher, though, is to make reading assignments as beneficial as possible. How can you do this?
1. Choose a suitable text
2. Establish interest in that text by getting your students to discuss the topic before reading
3. Set tasks for the reading assignment
4. Teach any unknown essential vocabulary (particularly words related to completing the tasks)
5. Set time limit
What do you want to teach?
The tasks you set depend on the type of reading skill you want to teach. How much of the text is it essential to understand? If total comprehension is your goal then an intensive task is needed (a task that will require them to read the entire text in detail). If you just want your students to pull out certain pieces of information from the text, then you should encourage scan reading (which means the time limit should reflect this).
The important thing is to set the tasks before handing out the reading assignment, and to establish interest in the topic with either a Q&A or a conversation on the theme.
Share your tips for reading lessons in the comments box below.