Wednesday, April 29, 2009

TEFL Reading Activities

TEFL readingDuring my EFL teaching career, I dreaded courses that focused on reading. They always presented more obstacles for me than courses that dealt with other language skills.

Perhaps I'm an exception, but I get the sense that reading classes can be some of the dreariest for EFL teachers.

Ideally, students should read an assigned article before coming to class. But that rarely works out with a group of unmotivated youngsters. It's tempting to hand out an article at the beginning of class and then say, "Here, read this," followed by a series of comprehension questions.

Inevitably, much of the class is then taken up by students reading the assigned article. However, there are numerous activities that you can use to spice up an EFL reading class and make it more enjoyable for the students and yourself.

A Simple Activity

One simple activity that I used with great effect was the impromptu quiz. Not a quiz in the traditional sense. The quiz is not announced before class nor does it count toward final marks.

Once students have finished the assigned reading, tell them to close their books (or turn over the page with the article). Then, separate the class into two teams. Now, ask questions related to the article that they have just finished reading. The teams should try to answer based on memory. For longer passages, you could allow them to search for the answers.

Award one point for a correct answer. Or, to make the quiz/game more interesting, allow each team to ask the other team questions. You can allow the teams to answer collectively, or cycle through each team and focus on individual students.

Very simple but guaranteed to make the class more interesting. You can use this activity two or three times with the same class in a semester without it becoming stale. At least some students will pay closer attention to the next reading assignment if they know there may be a quiz.


Post a Comment