Published 14th December 2017

Reading lessons are not always the most fun lessons. Some students just naturally aren’t avid readers, so getting them to enjoy a lesson which primarily involves reading can be a tough task. Even the best readers can get frustrated with a dull text. It’s not impossible to make an engaging and effective reading lesson, though. Here are five ways you can make your reading texts more exciting.

Chinese whispers

Ok, so this is not actually Chinese whispers but it works in a similar way. Divide the class into pairs. Give each student in the pair a text of a story or event – each student in the pair must be given a different story (so you’ll need two stories). Each student reads their story and draws a picture or symbols to help them remember the story. When they have finished take their texts away from them. Now they must retell their stories to their partners.

Set the questions

Hand out a reading text to half your class and another text to the other half of the class. Students must read their text and come up with appropriate comprehension or language questions for the text. Once finished, they can swap their texts with a partner and complete the questions for their new text.

What do you think?

Find a text on a controversial or debatable topic. Let your students read the text to find out the writer’s opinion and to consider their own opinion.  Give them some time to discuss their ideas in small groups before opening up the discussion to the whole class. Giving them time to think about it before contributing to a group discussion will mean your students will be more prepared to speak and so have more to say.

Keep it real

Find an authentic text relating to a current event or story in the news. This could be an article about a celebrity or new trend or popular sport – anything as long as it’ll be interesting to your students and not just you! Providing a real scenario as the basis for a reading text ensures maximum interest, possible background knowledge and a good chance your students will have something to say about the topic.

Mix it up

Divide a text into smaller sections. Divide the students into groups and hand out one section of the text to each person in the group. Each student must read their section. Then, without reading it aloud to their partners, the group must decide in what order the sections go in order to compile the whole story. For something a bit more challenging, you can include two or more texts in one group.