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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Reader Plan    

Reader Plan

Maria Isabel

Reader Plan
Dear friends,

Here I am, asking you to help me.

At the school I work for, I�ve been asked to implement the reader plan in the secondary level.  The truth is that our students just read the texts which appear in their books and it is totally essential they start reading books. 

At the school library we have some titles each student could choose to read according to their language level, but the thing is we don �t know how to evaluate them.  We don �t want them just to write a summary at the end of the term, we would like them to do something they enjoy, something which motivates them to start reading a new book and at the same time something which let us (teachers) know they are really reading their books.

We have only 5 hours of class a week, so it is difficult to dedicate one of them to reading only.  Therefore, they have to read at home. How can we monitor and assess their reading comprehension?

Any ideas?

Thank you so much!!!

Maria Isabel

18 Oct 2012      


When I was at school, we just read our books and wrote summaries and reviews.  You could do other things as well.  My department head sent me this a while ago.
Cartoons,   Posters ,  Acting � sketches/role play � what happened/prediction,  Charts,       Interviews,     Group retelling orally/written,     Individual retelling orally/written,      Songs,        Questions and answers,        Mobiles, Write a letter to one of the characters.  ( I had some other suggestions but I can �t find them.  I �ll keep looking.)
You might want to use rubrics to evaluate their progress and explain to the students exactly how they will be assessed.  They might also keep records of their work and progress in a portfolio.
Hope that helps you,

18 Oct 2012     


Hello there,

In my opinion, one of the most useless things teachers do sometimes is sending a book home for a child to read. Many children end up looking for the summary on the Internet or asking their private teachers to either translate the book for them, read and translate the book with them or tell them what the book is about. I know because I used to run an English center and when book time came around, this is what happened.

Now, if you are serious about using a book as a tool in the classroom, I suggest that you use it as a tool. Read chapters with the students in class, go over vocabulary, ask them to write short summaries of what the chapter was about, have a list of questions that they need to answer about each chapter, have them draw a picture or illustrate the chapter, do an open close on the theme of that chapter, etc.

Doing activities after they have read the book is always fun but it doesn �t mean that they have read the book, nor does it mean that using the book as a teaching tool has been effective.

Many teachers/people wonder why students don �t read - or if they do read why they don �t have good vocabulary usage- and partly it �s because they are given books above their age level, above their comprehension level and/or the book usually tends to be something that isn �t to their taste. All this, especially when learning a new language, hinders learning instead of helping.

Anyways, sorry for the long post. I just had a flashback to classes sitting down with students going over books that their teachers had sent home that were way too difficult for them, and this is a big thing, when something has been abridged sometimes it is hard to understand what �s going on. I know myself that reading books with children and reading the abridged edition of Oliver twist or some other classic, I often thought to myself "hey, this doesn �t make a lot of sense unless you �ve read the books, the real book and not the shortened version".

Hope you have luck with your students. This rant was in no way directed at you, it was a general observation about reading books in English in class.

19 Oct 2012     


When I was a student in secondary level, we read one of Agatha Christie �s misteries by chapters (one each week). It was wonderful because all the 11th year students were reading it at school and we kept talking about it (who was the killer). It was a wonderful activity to develop our reading skills and interest!

19 Oct 2012     

Maria Isabel

Thank you all for your suggestions and advice.

I also think that reading in class along with your students is a great tool, but what if they are each going to read a different book? The only thing I could do is give them some time to read silently?
 The idea of reading mystery books is very attractive too. 

Thanks friends.

19 Oct 2012     


Here in my school we have a project that consists of studying different stories in English, Portuguese and French. I have already used some of those short stories to work on in my classes. We usually start with a ppt. on the author and his/her writing, read the story in class, talk about it (characters, setting, plot, opinions...) and do some follow-up activities that I prepare. I try to choose stories that have something to do with the topics we are studying at the moment. Last year and this year I �ve worked on three different stories and I intend to go on because I think it �s important to make our students read longer texts and the feedback I have from them is very positive, too. I have already uploaded two of my worksheets and I can send you the other materials if you �re interested.

19 Oct 2012     

Maria Isabel

That would be GREAT!

Thanks Lurdes!

19 Oct 2012     


You are so lucky to have 5 classes of English!!! In Italy we have only 3 at middle school and for me it �s almost difficult to do other activities except using the text book.

19 Oct 2012