Most of the time when I have a reading class we’ll have about 50% of the class bring a book, if I’m lucky. So what are you supposed to do with the rest of your time? Well, that’s a very good question.
There are many things you can do to make reading classes more interesting, including:
- Worksheets: Always have extra worksheets, handouts, and other ESL printables ready for students that don’t have anything to read. And you’re going to need these when everyone’s done reading, too. Often my reading classes are supposed to last for 1 hour, but what student wants to read for that long, especially when the book they’re reading is quite difficult? Try this great worksheet that students can use to find verbs, nouns, and other interesting words, all while being timed!
- Games: It seems like I’m always going to need at least one game when I do a reading class, because I just know we’ll have time to kill. I think ESL Word Games work real well, and you can buy several of them on my site. I often use some ESL PowerPoint Games as well, although those take longer to make. Still, reading classes are ideal classes for those, and I would highly suggest you download a free copy of one of mine or read previous, and forthcoming, posts about how to make your own.
- Videos: And of course there are videos when you’ve got a reading class. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Well, what are you going to do with that last 15 minutes, or last 20 minutes even? I would always suggest having a file on your computer or USB flash drive that has lots of links to video sites that you can watch in China. I’ve got a rather large list, and I’ll talk about that in future posts.
So, after we got done with our regular lesson today, and finished up with reading, (which went an amazing 22 minutes!) we had nothing else to do. I had had some recent success a few weeks ago with some ‘Survivor’ reality TV show episodes with my winter class. I thought to myself, “I wonder if they have Fear Factor?”
Well, they did, and we proceeded to watch an old episode where contestants get chewed up by dogs, have snakes put on them, and have to walk some kind of high-wire balancing act. The students really got into it, and with a little clicking to skip the boring parts, I managed to cram the whole 47 minute show into less than 20! It was good, and I saved the link in my video link file.
I hope that will give you some ideas, and some good downloads, for the next time you have a reading class, or should I call them do-nothing classes?
Fear Factor Episode
Season 25 of Survivor