Activities for Reading Lessons
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When teaching English as a Foreign Language, you will not only teach the grammar and vocabulary of the language but also the four skills: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Reading and listening are known as receptive skills – because you receive language through them – and writing and speaking are known as productive skills – because you produce language through them. When it comes to teaching these skills, we are not only concerned with teaching our students how to read or write (i.e. literacy) but also the subskills involved when reading, writing, listening, or speaking. Luckily, there are plenty of activities for reading lessons to keep your students engaged!
Read more: Teaching Reading Skills in the EFL Classroom
Reading is one of the trickier skills to teach
You might have assumed that when teaching a reading lesson there are no activities involved, that all the students do is read. It’s not that simple, though. We need to come up with activities that will help our students practice the different subskills. Don’t worry, this is where we come in! We’ve compiled our favourite activities for reading lessons that you can incorporate into your teaching plan. This will help prepare our students for any reading they will need to do in English outside the classroom by making them more effective and more efficient readers.
If you’re feeling like this just got a whole lot more complicated, don’t freak out. Luckily there are a load of activities and things you can do to make your reading lessons more interactive, communicative, and fun while being educational at the same time – regardless of if your text is a menu, a news article, or a novel.
Read more: Literature in the EFL Classroom
Here are just a few examples:
- Gap reading. This is a technique used in many coursebooks and it is useful to remember when dealing with other reading material. Basically, divide the text into different parts and assign each part to a different member of a group – usually this is done in pairs or threes. In other words, each student is reading a different part of the text. When each student has finished reading their part, they explain what they have read to their partners in order to construct the entire text.
- Prediction. Before giving out the text, spend some time discussing the topic of the text. You can create discussion questions for the students, or get them to come up with the questions; you can brainstorm the topic, or you can use visuals to elicit discussion around the topic. In this way, the students are preparing themselves for what they are going to read and at the same time engaging with the topic on a personal level before they have even started reading.
- Two Texts. For this activity, you will need to do a little bit of preparation. Before the lesson, produce another version of the text which contains several discrepancies to the first. Pair the students up, let them read the different versions and when they are done they need to find out what the differences are. If you don’t tell them they have different versions but ask them to recap what they read together, they should realise they have different information. When they have found all the differences (kind of like a Spot the Difference picture), they must then decide which is the correct text.
Mix it up!
- True/False. Once the students have read a particular text, they must construct a set of true or false statements based on what they have read. In pairs, they can read their statements to their partners who must either remember or read again to find out if they are true or false.
- Flipping. A completely different option is to let the students do the reading at home. Many students believe that reading during class is a waste of time so sometimes it can be good to let them rather spend time reading at home. This also means that your students can read at their own pace without worrying about holding up the other students. The reading can be done before or after the lesson i.e. for preparation or for homework. What the lesson then involves is discussing any language that is in the text or creating a discussion class based on the text.
- Drawing the Story. Put the students into pairs. One student reads aloud to the other student who must draw a picture as they listen. This can be abstract so does not need to follow the content of the text completely, but it should flow from the reading. When their picture is complete they can use it to retell the text to their partner. The reader can then have a turn being the artist.
As you can see, reading lessons do not only have to involve reading. Pre-reading and post-reading tasks are important for the students to get to grips with the text while also practicing the subskills involved in reading. It can also be useful to consider alternatives to individual reading. Working together with a text provides a way to tackle a reading text from another angle and will provide variety to your lessons. Because reading is an individual task, we need to adjust our activities to make them more interactive while still being interesting, engaging, and effective.
Read more: 5 Ways to Make Reading Texts More Exciting
As with any EFL lesson, when thinking of activities to do with your students, bear in mind their interests and capabilities. Some students won’t read for homework so flipping the classroom might not work for them. Other students might thoroughly enjoy being creative so would love to draw the story. Also, the level of the students is important when dealing with a skill like reading because you will need to bear in mind the fact the students can read at different paces. This is something to consider when pairing students up for reading activities.
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- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
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.