One option that is now available to language teachers is the wide range of simplified and inexpensive versions of literary texts, called readers see Onestop Shop for a list of readers for different levels. Setting up a class library of novels and readers, if you have the resources, is an excellent idea. Tim Bowen and Jonathan Marks, in their book Inside Teaching , recommend the following ideas for extensive reading of literature:.
DIY literature lesson plan In our first Methodology article on Using Literature, there were two sample lesson plans based on an excerpt or a short story. Both followed a similar lesson plan format, outlined below. This sort of lesson plan works well for extracts from stories, poems or extracts from plays. Stage one: warmer There are two different possible routes you can take for this stage:. Stage two: before reading This stage could be optional, or it may be a part of the warmer. Preparing to read activities include:.
With very evocative pieces of literature or poetry this can be quite powerful. Then I let students read it to themselves. It is important to let students approach a piece of literature the first time without giving them any specific task other than to simply read it. One of the aims of teaching literature is to evoke interest and pleasure from the language.
If students have to do a task at every stage of a literature lesson, the pleasure can be lost. Once students have read it once, you can set comprehension questions or ask them to explain the significance of certain key words of the text. Another way of checking comprehension is to ask students to explain to each other in pairs what they have understood. This could be followed up by more subjective questions e.
Why do you think X said this? How do you think the woman feels? What made him do this? At this stage get to grips with the more difficult words in the text. See how many of the unfamiliar words students can get from context. Give them clues. You could also look at certain elements of style that the author has used. Remember that there is some use in looking at non-standard forms of language to understand the standard. If appropriate to the text, look at the connotation of words which the author has chosen.
Stage five: follow up activities Once you have read and worked with your piece of literature it might naturally lead on to one or more follow up activities.
Here are some ideas:. Using extracts from stories or short stories. Using extracts from plays Most of the ideas from stories above could be applied here, but obviously, this medium gives plenty of opportunity for students to do some drama in the classroom. Here are some possibilities:. Potential problems Problem 1: Where do I find material? Of course you may have a novel or book of poetry that you have been dying to use with your students for a long time. But where can you get more material?
The internet brings you instant access to many works of literature. Use a search engine.
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Usually it is enough to key in the name of the author or the book you are looking for. Older books and plays can sometimes be found entirely on-line. Look for literature from other English speaking countries there is lots and lots to give your students a richer variety of work written in the English language. You can also try the following link: www. Problem 2: How do I choose material? Think about the following factors when you choose a piece of literature to use with learners:. Problem 3: Is the text too difficult?
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Obviously a teacher would not want to use a text that is completely beyond their learners. This would ultimately be frustrating for everyone involved. However, the immediate difficulty with vocabulary in a text might not be an obstacle to its comprehension. Learners can be trained to infer meaning of difficult words from context.
The selection of a text must be given careful thought, but also the treatment of the text by the teacher this means think about the tasks you set for a reading of a piece of literature, not just the text. Stylistics and the Teaching of Literature , Longman Thank you for your lovely comment, Catherine Notting Hill Girl. It really made my day, and I had not seen this article or thought about it for some time! You may also be interested in the literature postcards we made for the Global course I wrote. They too are still online, here!
Thanks again, and happy teaching. Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment. Notting Hill Girl Wed, 6 Dec pm. Hi Lindsay I will be teaching Level 2 English to adult students in January for the first time, so I'm looking for ideas.
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I'm also trying to challenge myself with teaching in different ways. Your article is so helpful.
Just read it from start to end and will definitely try some of your suggestions. Thanks SO much for writing it. Catherine, London. Web Editor Thu, 5 Jan pm.
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Hi Nuzla, Thanks for your feedback. That's a very good question.
As you rightly say, lots of articles focus on pre or post-reading tasks. However, here are some activities you can use while reading: - complete the text: finish incomplete phrases or fill in missing words.
Hope these help and do please let us know how you get on. Best wishes, The onestopenglish team. Thank you so much for the useful tips. There are many examples for pre and post reading in the web. But it will be really helpful to know some WHILE reading activities for personal enrichment and language development. Thank you so much!