Books and English Language Learning Online presentation and discussion on 7- 11- 2010 Participants: Christina Markoulaki, C2-level EFL students from Maria Markaki Language School, Branko Medic and students of English literature in the University of Serbia 1
What kind of texts? classical literature novels or short stories poetry comics or fairy tales for all ages readers with manipulated language 2
How to choose? The learner chooses or asks for the teacherâ€™s help-> autonomous learning, independence According to studentâ€™s interests/ hobbies/ personality A matter of personal taste. Always important to find a compelling read.
Reading Levels and examples There is always a text for everyone! Beginnersâ€™ level: Little George is reading his favourite story. Intermediate level: Aliki chooses readers and posts the summary on her blog. This is a post about a folk story she read. The new words she learns form part of her vocabulary calendars. Advanced level: George read unabridged books of classical literature and wrote book reviews on his blog followed by various comments. See a sample of a student interaction here. 4
Why read? Authenticity of language (for advanced learners). A variety of vocabulary and grammar. Excitement and joy-> language comes alive! Food for thought: enhanced creativity, critical thinking skills and knowledge on certain topics. Opportunities to produce written and oral speech as a post-reading activity. 5
More student examples: Day- related reading C2- level adult student, George read an Edgar Allan Poe’s story on last year’s Halloween, studied new words, discussed about the story orally and answered questions on his blog. Emma was also intrigued by Poe’s life and wrote about it on the class blog.
The phrases on this calendar were compiled by George, an adult learner of C2 level , after he had completed reading the worldwide bestseller 'The Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. See also the relevant blog post on our Studentsâ€™ Page. 7
Reflection on book content Published assignments on Studentsâ€™ Page concerning the plot, characters or other aspects of the books students read-> Sample 1 and Sample 2 Blog posts about books by student bloggers-> pictures or video can be added-> new dimensions to reading
Books and slideshows: recent novels 'The Island' by Victoria Hislop:After taking notes about all ideas in this slideshow, students were invited to reflect on the relevance of the concepts of prejudice and tolerance to two extracts of the book -> studentsâ€™ answers on Literature Blog 9
Books and slideshows: classical literature ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë-> slideshow illustrating the sequence of class activities, discussion of a long printed extract, BBC video and a song-> for students of B2 level just before the exams-> relaxing& facilitating language production 10
Books and blogs Teachers can initiate online discussions-> students practise writing and critical thinking skills. Example: exchange of opinions on a quotation of ‘The Island’ See a variety of posts about books and literature, often necessitating student involvement, on the Students’ page of the school. 11
Poetry use in class Activates imagination and helps shape a life philosophy. Anyone can understand poetry if put simply. Blog posts about poetry on the blog. View poems to be used with almost all ages and levels in the Google Docs gallery of the school.
Our next goal: Read- alouds A read aloud is a planned oral reading of a book or print excerpt, usually related to a theme or topic of study. The read aloud can be used to engage the student listener while developing background knowledge, increasing comprehension skills, and fostering critical thinking. A read aloud can be used to model the use of reading strategies that aid in comprehension. Find out more about this activity here.
More links about reading A link list in our wiki. Find the best level to start reading at. Character Scrapbook about your favourite character in the book: write ten simple facts you know about this character and also create an image of them using some fun tools. You can print your scrapbook page afterwards.
Reading quotes Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. (Joseph Addison) Learn as much by writing as by reading. (Lord Acton) More reading quotes ‘Gotta keep reading’ video 15