Now, let’s talk about motivating your learners to read.
Move away from the content, plan some warmers, introduce context, try to raise their interest in the subject. These make wonderful pre-tasks.
While your learners are reading, you can experiment a little, and integrate Reading with Grammar.
As a post-task activity, you could integrate Reading and Writing (remember, all good writers are good readers) and ask your learners to write a report on what they just read. Or a comment, as if they were reading a blog! There is no end to this, really, have a discussion, “book club” meeting over coffee, or a role play! You’ll be amazed how much fun an actual Reading class could be.
As an example lets take this newspaper article and see what can be done here.
Level: Elementary or Pre-Intermediate
Time: 20 – 60 minutes
Preparation: worksheets, stopwatch. You can prepare some sample text messages for competition yourself or ask your students to do so at home for your next class.
I think this would make a great lesson that could even extend to an extra-curriculum activity that would be both easy and enjoyable. Can be used both before or after the actual reading task.
Introduce the context by asking your learners how often they use their mobile (haha) and what for. Elicit texting. Ask extra questions where appropriate. Ask your learners how fast can they text and whether or not this affects their spelling (L1 and L2). Have a go at writing shorter text messages and carry on writing some more complicated ones. This can be a group pr individual activity.
Once you have them in their “comfort zone”, just have fun with it, and create lots of interest in the subject.
Let us know if you tried this or similar activities in your ESL Reading class!