How to Personalise Reading for EFL Students
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Let’s be real, reading is usually not the most popular of our English as a Foreign Language lessons. Our students always seem to enjoy speaking and vocabulary lessons, even grammar lessons – if they are done right – but reading is not usually a favourite. It might be because it’s labour-intensive, or because it’s an individual sport or because it can be quite challenging. Whatever the reason, we need to find ways to make reading more attractive to our students.
How can we personalise reading?
We all know about personalising our EFL lessons. We choose topics that are relevant to our learners, we replace materials which are inappropriate and we direct our discussions in ways which our students would appreciate. This means that we tailor our lead-in and response activities to our students. But is there more that we can do in terms of the reading text and task itself?
The one thing we can do to personalise a reading lesson is to give our students more control. Reading is not a group task and each student approaches reading differently. If we use a blanket approach to reading (You’ve got 5 minutes to read the text and then you must answer questions 1 to 10) we run the risk of alienating weaker students or boring stronger ones. Giving our students control over what exactly they are doing can get them more motivated to complete the task because they are doing it on their own terms.
Activities to personalise reading
- Give your students free rein on the lesson. Let them decide which coursebook activities they would like to do related to the reading text. They don’t need to do everything – they can leave out an entire set of questions if they don’t like them or they can just ignore one or two questions in a set. You should find that going over the answers as a class will result in dealing with all the questions regardless (except for the terrible ones which you would’ve skipped anyway).
- As they read, ask students to highlight any particular sentence or paragraph they found difficult or confusing. Before dealing with the answers to a task, let them compare their highlighted sections in pairs or groups and ask each other for clarity.
- Make sure there are questions which relate to the students’ own experience of or in relation to the text. Questions which evoke a personal response both to the task and the content of the text will cause a stronger reaction than purely objective fact-finding questions.
- After a lead-in activity but before reading, let your students create questions they would like to know the answers to from the text. In this way they are reading the text to really find answers they want to know, not just reading for the sake of it.
- Let your students choose the reading. If you are not totally bound to a coursebook, let students find a reading they would like to discuss. They can give it to you beforehand so you can plan appropriate activities around it. Choosing the reading will automatically mean they are invested in the lesson.
Reading is an essential skill in learning a language. That doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Personalising reading tasks is just one way you can maintain interest levels while tackling this challenging skill.
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In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.