designing effective reading activities

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Designing Effective Reading Activities. Jennifer Bixby Joe McVeigh. Selecting appropriate reading materials. Intensive and extensive reading. Vocabulary Development. Using a dictionary Recognizing word forms Identifying affixes and roots Understanding collocations - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Designing Effective Reading ActivitiesJennifer Bixby Joe McVeigh

  • Selecting appropriate reading materials

  • Intensive and extensive reading

  • Vocabulary DevelopmentUsing a dictionaryRecognizing word formsIdentifying affixes and rootsUnderstanding collocationsGuessing meaning from context

  • Checking on the vocabulary levelUse a vocabulary profiler such as this one at the English Centre at the University of Hong Kong

  • Vocabulary Profiler ResultsFrequencyPercentage1 - 1000 words 703 92.1%1001 - 2000 words 425.5%AWL words 50.6%Off-list words 131.7%

  • Vocabulary Profiler Results1 - 1000: a about accept addition after agree agreement allow also always an and are as at bad be because bills both broke brothers build business businesses but buy by car cared carried change child children college color could couldn counting course day describe didn difficult dollars done each easy enjoy enjoyed enough escape even every everything expected fact families family. . .1001 - 2000: afford arguments baby clothes customer customers ducks during dusting exactly fun hated holidays hungry ice lesson lessons lot lots lucky nice parents proud rabbits restaurant salary shelves shop sweeping worried AWL: adult appreciate communicate eventually jobs Off-list: budget chutney dusty feeding london menu pakistan shy talents teenager untrained woodworking yelling

  • General guidelines and principles for activities

  • Teaching vs. testing

  • Teaching vs. testing

  • Bottom up processingStarting from sounds and letters to make meaningIdentifying words and structuresFocus on vocabulary, grammar, organization

  • Top down processingComprehension resides in the readerReader uses background knowledge and makes predictionsTeacher focus is on meaning-generating activities (Anderson 2008)

  • Top down or bottom up?Schema building to activate background knowledgePre-teaching new vocabulary wordsHelp students comprehend discourse structures

    Underline a grammar structure or verb tenseSkip over vocabulary words you dont knowWrite the number of a paragraph where you find the answer

  • Comprehension vs. strategy development

  • StrategiesSkim for ideas; scan for specific infoFind the main ideaLocate topic sentencesAdjust reading rate relative to purposeRead and interpret tables, charts, mapsMake inferences about contentDifferentiate between fact and opinion

  • Whats on the menu?

  • Activity and Response TypesMultiple choiceFill in the blankTrue-FalseMatchingSequencingCompleting a graphic organizer

    Completing a tableSorting or grouping Finding information in a readingAnswering questionsWriting a reflection

  • What makes an effective activity?

  • Motivating and engaging sack race

  • Pump slide

  • Pre-reading activitiesSchema buildingPreviewingPredictingSkimmingIdentifying genreLearning key vocabulary

  • Schema buildingThis reading is about the invention of the telephone. What do you know about the topic? List anything you know about the invention of the telephone. What do you want to know about the invention of the telephone? Write questions. After you read, you will fill in the chart with what you learned.

    What I know My questions: I learned

  • PreviewingPreview the reading. Answer these questions.

    How many paragraphs are in the reading? How long will it take you to read?How many sections are there? What are the titles?Look at the photographs and read the captions. What new word is explained?

  • PredictingThe author of the next reading has a negative opinion about reality TV shows. What issues do you think the author will discuss in the reading?

  • Identifying genre

    Look at the magazine article. How is the format different from the newspaper article on page 17? What other kinds of differences are there?

  • Learning key vocabularyRead the sentence. Choose the best definition for the bold word.

    1. Company signs come in a variety of colors.a. different kinds b. small choicec. unusual order

  • Activities while readingKeeping questions in mindTaking notesFilling in a graphic organizerMonitoring comprehensionDeveloping fluency

  • Keeping questions in mindAs you read, keep these questions in mind.

    What were three steps in the design process?What was the most difficult problem for the architects?

  • Underlining

    As you read, use a pencil and lightly underline important information. Only underline two points in each paragraph. Dont underline complete sentences.

  • Filling in a graphic organizerAs you read, fill in the T-chart.

    Advantages of online classesDisadvantages of online classes

  • Monitoring comprehensionAs you finish reading each section, answer the question.

    Section 1: Who conducts the survey for the most livable city?

    Section 2: Which city was the most livable city in 2009? Why?

    Section 3: What three factors make it a great city to live in?

  • Reading fluencyTimed readingsWord recognition exercisesCapacity building

  • Post-reading activitiesComprehensionCritical analysis and evaluationSummarizing or paraphrasingTask-based outputReflection and integrated activities


  • ComprehensionAnswer these questions. Re-read the story if you need to.

    Why was the narrator afraid of the old man?What indications are there that the narrator is mad?

  • Critical analysis and evaluation

    In which lines of the reading does the author give factual information?

    In which lines does the author give her opinion.

    How do you know?

  • Summarizing or paraphrasingWrite a paragraph in which you summarize the reading.

    Write one sentence for each paragraph.

    Be sure to use your own words. Do not quote directly from the text.

  • Task-based outputGo back to the section describing how to make a paper airplane.

    Take a piece of paper and follow the instructions.

    Show your airplane to your classmates.

    Did everyones come out the same way?

  • Reflection and integrated activitiesDo you agree with the author that technology is bad for human relationships?

    Write a paragraph giving your opinion. Use quotations from the text to help focus your argument.

  • Putting it all together

  • Putting it all togetherDirections: Read the text at the end of the handout.With a partner or in a small group, select two activities for either the pre-, during, or post- reading portion of the lesson.What activities would you choose? How would you design each activity? What would the students need to do to complete these tasks? How long would each task take to complete?

  • Photo CreditsAll photos from flickr used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

    Snowy street striaticShopper in aisle Elsie esqRabbit reading emailToms BaugisAmazed child with bookPierre VignauShelf of booksAlan LevineSoccer girlsRandy, son of RobertB& W book and feetstriaticPunk girl readingtxdVocabulary listAutumn BlissBlueprintsTodd EhlersTestsergis blogDinosaur classroomworldislandinfo.comBottom upJudith GreenTop downMarya emdot

  • Photo creditsAll photos from flickr used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

    Disintegrating signPeter MorganStrategyJoe McVeighAisles of choicesLyza DangerClear water swimmersLali MasrieraPole vaulterlatvianSack raceIan ChalmersGearsRalphbijkersYellow chainJurek DurczakPumpTinyfrogletFramed houseStephen BrotschulHand with highlighterSteph McGlenchyB & W classroomChuck Phillips, U. of Arizona CESLPuzzleAntoanettaQuestion markEthan LoftonBlue bearJeff TurnerFlower and skyJoanne Quirante-Escober

  • Materials Writers Interest SectionCome to the open meeting 5-7pm CC 602

    Visit the booth in the exhibit area

    Check your program book on p. 214 for more sessions

    Join the MWIS e-list through TESOL

  • Come to our other presentationsPathways to Successful Co-authoringFriday, 7-7:45 AM CC 503Daphne Mackey & Jennifer BixbyThe World of Freelance ESL EditingSaturday, 5-5:45 CC 506Dorothy Zemach & Jennifer Bixby

    Exploring College SlangFriday, 11-11:45 CC 504Joe McVeigh & Ann Wintergerst

    Current Trends in ESL/EFL PublishingSaturday, 3-4:45 CC 304Joe McVeigh, Louisa Hellegers, PietroAlongi, Sherrise Roehr, Laura Pearson

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