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Andy Brooks's Design Narrative: To better enable English Language learners to read with an emphasis on reading for gist

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Andy Brooks
25 March 2017


Design Narrative: To better enable English Language learners to read with an emphasis on reading for gist.



 Student English Language Instructor at a language school.



A language school offering English language lessons, this particular class was made up of young adults of intermediate ability English.


Trying to improve reading skills but particularly to put an emphasis on reading for gist and to help improve reading speed.



As a lead in the Students were shown a newspaper and an understanding of the body and headline and sub headline were checked. This was a simple activity which involved student participation.


Students were then put into pairs and asked to find a story they find interesting. They were given 3 minutes for this task. A check question was used to make sure the students understood the task, and duration.


Students then had to decide on two questions which were “what is it about?” and “why is it interesting?” Understanding of the task was checked using questions such as, “Are you going to read every word?” Students were given 3 minutes for this task. They were then asked about their stories.


Students were then given a couple of headlines to look at in their pairs and were asked what the stories could be about. After this Students were given a hand-out with some phrases and they had to decide which headlines they went with.


As a final activity Students were given some stories and all around the level headlines had been hidden, they had to find the headlines and match them to the stories.






The lesson was a successful one and the students really enjoyed it, it was a fast paced lesson, but this led to the weaker students finding it quite difficult to keep pace, which was very noticeable at times. Overall the desired outcomes were achieved.


The lesson was a positive experience, the main things to note would be, if I were to do the activity again I would pair the students slightly differently, by making sure the weaker students were paired with a stronger student. It should also be acknowledged that the final activity would not be possible in all settings.

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