This post is inspired by a shout out from Hugh Dellar to find out how we encourage our learners to read. After just finishing an intensive FCE course, where I tried to no avail to encourage my students to read in their own time to increase their exposure to language, I have given the subject some thought, and next course I’m determined I’m going to “Get them reading on the move!”. I’d like to motivate students to make use of those idle moments on the bus/train/metro when they are usually involved in less cognitive activities and encourage them to read. All my students complain that they “don’t have time to read”, so this is my action plan to encourage students to consider their smart phones as a reading tool by making them aware of MALL.
- Ask Ss what they are interested in and guide them towards online magazines and websites which they can access on their smartphones. Ensure 10-15 mins class time is dedicated to share and compare when students can feedback to each other about the article/s they’ve read that week. Without an in class follow up activity, the chances that Ss will actually take the time and/or effort to read in their spare time are slim.
- I often set up a Whasapp group with my classes. By uploading short texts or articles to the group, students don’t need connectivity to consult it, so have no excuses! They can then feedback in the group and/or write a summary of the key points, which will encourage them to read for content and not only gist.
- Another way of exploiting uploaded a texts to a whatsapp group, is to encourage learners to trawl the text for adjectives, noun/verb collocations, verb tenses to get them analysing the language and not just seeing it without considering its formation.
- Synonym searches are another useful activity. Ss are given synonyms of key words in the uploaded text to find. This ensures they reading for comprehension and not gist.
As always, I’d love to know if you try anything and how it worked!