Reading and writing reflections and discovery activities



  • I think all the reading skills are important, because it depends on the reader needs, therefore which skills and subskills are going to be used then.
  • Reading stories in the classroom is an activity students find really enjoyable because the books are different than the coursebook, because they find the stories interesting, they like images on them, new vocabulary comes along (of course for graded readers), or by listening to the teacher they start understanding more and this motivates them a lot.
  • I’ve found certain students specially adults, trying to understand each new word in a text and having so much trouble trying to understand the whole text afterwards. This happens in beginners levels; because as the course advances and they get more vocabulary and focus in other activities, they gain confidence, they stop doing it; instead prediction comes along with other reading subskills more useful for these levels and ages.
  • In my coursebook Side by side from Longman I read  a  text; which type is a story. It has a short length; it contains very basic layers (beginning, body, end); the topic is “wondering” and the kind of language is casual but appropriate.
  • The reading subskills focused on in this text activities and exercices are understanding text structure and intensive reading; sometimes we work on predicting according to the text pictures too.
  • Materials:

Coursebook, audio cd, whiteboard, word box, a song/video with the “wondering” topic  and photocopies from the song or a prepared sheet with several exercises to answer on word or power point (with exercises from BBC languages, google or teachers tools webpages).

This class would be taken place right after the warm up greetings and  the last class and homework review.

  • Activities:

Predict: from the text pictures and perhaps with the word bank.
Listen and read along with the audio cd and the text book.
Underline “what’s everybody wondering about”
Answer a True False exercise afterwards.
Completion with multiple options exercise with past tense and past perfect tense.
Listen to the song and underline what’s everybody in the song wondering about.

  • Succesful activities:

-Predict from the pictures because it’s a freshend up activity and they love brainstorm.
-Read along with the audio because they have a native speaker to back up in their pronunciation support.
-and the true or false exercises: It’s very clear for them to analyze the text since it’s a graded reading for their level (plus they have the word bank support as well as flashcards generally).

  • Not successful activities:

Completion with multiple options exercise with past and past perfect tenses: I think grammar always makes them a bit anxious at the begining and tenses can be confused by some students who transmit their anxiety around).

Note: Activities depend completelly on the group personality, ages, time for classes (sometimes I have 2 hours straight, sometimes only 1 and a half), wheter a projector, tape recorder are available that day for us, etc.

  • To improve the lesson I need to prepar a past and past perfect comfortable, complete and easy review; and in the classroom management a teacher must see this anxiety students calmed before they start spreading that emotion.

I’dlove to become that kind of teacher tahat could take advantage even from a situation like that.

  • The  most interesting and fun websites for reading I checked out from the TKT list to reccomend my students are:

1. The newspaper from UK, because it writes topics of interest for ages 8 to 14:

2. Short stories from the British Council website because children are able to watch and listen; drawings are well designed for this age (5 to 10) and you can print the story, the activiy and answers:


  • I enjoy writing, and I ask my students to start a Diary or extend their sentences in the classroom or to ask any doubt with new vocabulary or sentences order we can solve in the class or share and find out with classmates or for homework research online; I tell them that in order to achieve the level they want to, they must read, practice speaking outloud at home or outside int he street, to find penpals, get into educational languages chatrooms, and bring sogs, all together helps improving our writing.
  • When I teach I focus on both: accuracy and communicating ideas; I bring all the tools support for accuracy and ask the students to make their own as well (word box, conferences, flashcards, ect), but I insist, the wish to communicate is the learning motivational motor.
  • My students find writing hard and difficult at the begining; so to keep them motivated with interesting topics and interactive exercises is the path that will lead them into elaborate longer sentences, paragrapsh and eventually, stories.

  • My list of text types I wrote through the these days:
Text type Reason for writing To whom Characteristics
1. A shopping list Running out of things in the kitchen I need to buy son. Myself Informa. register and no layouts, but the body.
2. Email Answering a friend who wanted to come visit for Day of the Death My friend Casual registerLayout with greetings and catching up in the introduction, body and farewell at the end
3. Text messages on the cell phone Answering my sister about a news she just sent me. My sister Briefly messages with all the abbreviations one can use in a cellphone (omit vowels wuld be one)Informal, no layouts but the body
  • Selection of resources for writing online from the TKT coursebook:

A very fun way to start writing a story: create it by filling in some gaps:

2.Web archive: broken link

3.Linked to a British council, but not he website for teachers


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s