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Reading circles - for EFL students

students read a text from different perspectives then discuss in in chat/elluminate

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Nathan Lomax
16 September 2009

This activity combines a tradtional reading circles activity with a discussion in chat

Learners are given roles (groups of 3-5 prepare the same role):

  • Discussion leaders (think of questions to maintain discussion of text)
  • Word people (collect useful words and explain how they help you to understand the text)
  • Passage people (collect 5 useful quotes)
  • Connectors (find links between the story and real life)

Put learners in new groups and they share what they have prepared, with a representative of each role in the new group.

Here is a link to the lesson design in Phoebe Pedagogical planner:

Contact details:

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Nathan Lomax
3:58pm 16 September 2009

I have tried this with different levels by grading the difficulty of the text and simplifying the role descriptors. The group development of roles is an important stage where the learners may need support.

The discussion can be in IM, Chat, Discussion boards or voice chat.


Rebecca Galley
8:24am 17 September 2009

Excellent, and the design can be used in lots of different contexts. Not just language teaching ie - could be used with trainee teachers when introducing a new framework or piece of legislation with only minor changes to roles.

Gráinne Conole
9:01am 17 September 2009

I really like this idea and approach and can see it could be very effective. Might see if I can persuade some of my fellow spanish studies to do this!

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