- Students often try to understand every single word, or try to translate the text into their own language
- Students don't always read the instructions carefully and so don't understand what they are listening for
- They get lost so easily, try to understand every word or complain the speakers are going to quickly.
- Students equate reading with misery, school and tests, they don’t even read in their own language
- In tests the wording of each item can cause problems: weaker students tend to focus on the exact words they see in the question, and are confused when they don't find them.
- This sound bite generation… anything longer than a couple of paragraphs and they lose interest
- I don’t have a lot of time in class, so I skip the listening or find it easier to read the text to the students
- They don't get it when there is cultural info in the text...because they generally focus on form and literal meaning.
- It’s so difficult to pay attention to a voice coming out of a box in the corner of the room, you can see them looking out of the window.
Use mind maps to brainstorm information before the reading activity or to help introduce cultural information. Then when students read ask them to complete the mind maps. It shows greater understanding of the text than comprehension question questions alone so moving from simple comprehension to gaining knowledge.
Who’s the author?
Put the some pictures of people on the whiteboard, ask the students to read the text and decide who wrote it . Get them to give reasons and discuss their answers. This is getting them to start to negotiate meaning in a text, to think of the author and their reasons for writing.
Who is the author?
What was their motivation to write this?
Do you feel the facts are accurate? Why or why not?
Is the author or reporter giving equal attention to all sides of the issue?
How does this piece make you feel personally?
Do you agree or disagree with the author?
Do you believe the ‘facts’ in this article?
How would others (from other countries, cultures, political groups, etc.) feel about it?