How to deal with long and difficult reading texts

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How to deal with long and difficult reading texts

Unread postby ngoclinh » 06 Dec 2005, 17:56

hi lucy,
i'm teaching english to a group of IT students and have problems dealing with
long and difficult reading texts in textbooks about IT. could you give me some ideas on how to make them more interesting and shorter?
many thanks

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Dealing with long and difficult reading texts

Unread postby Lucy » 09 Dec 2005, 18:20

You can change the activities that you carry out with the texts. For example, have students speed read to find certain information. This could also take the form of a competition. You can use the texts for language work. You could also ask students to read the article and explain it to somebody who knows nothing about computers. After reading the text, students could prepare a press release or information for a publicity campaign; they could persuade their boss, parent, etc that it is necessary to purchase the equipment being described. The exact activity will depend on the subject of the text.

You can make the activities more interactive by giving students different texts to read and treating them as a jigsaw reading activity. For this, use two texts and split the class into two groups. Each group reads a different text, with all members of each group reading the same text. You can treat the texts in the way you usually do: pre-teaching vocabulary, comprehension questions, etc. When everybody has finished reading and you’ve checked comprehension, you pair up the students. For this take one student from Group A and one from Group B. In pairs, students tell each other about the text they have just read. This is a communicative activity because the person listening does not have any knowledge of the text being described. Afterwards, students could read the text that was described to them for homework or in another lesson.

You can also edit the texts and ask students to reconstruct them. You could jumble the order of paragraphs and students put them back in the correct order. You could also jumble sentences within a paragraph. You could remove sentences from the text and the students put them back in the right place. You can blank out words or groups of words, students fill in these blanks.

To make the texts shorter, all I can suggest is that you find a suitable place to cut them and use them as you would do normally. However, if you edit them, the language could become unauthentic which is not helpful to the students in the long-term.

I hope you and your students will enjoy the above activities.


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