I would love to develop a list of useful classroom texts (I mean texts that learners would find engaging / motivating / beneficial to read inside the language classroom) and think of authentic but also classroom friendly ways of reading / processing / ‘attacking’ them. BTW, unlike most of his readers, I’m not a fan of Scott Thornbury’s text-attack terminology, since if there’s anything in this world that should be kept apart from the brutalities of war and suffering, then reading be it.
So, simply put, here goes. A list of readable texts and authentic tasks that can be used with them in the classroom. Please do help add to the list of texts or tasks or comment on those already proffered – I’m going to need a lot of help to make this list even half decent…
Updating this post for the first time with some extra ideas for gist tasks and generic text ideas. I think this may be the way to go rather than producing specific examples of texts, although I might come up with a few once I start teaching / watching teachers again in January.
General Gist tasks
Read the first paragraph, shall we bother continuing?
Read the title of a text – what do you think it is about? Continue reading all of it until it’s no longer relevant to you as a reader.
You’re on a long plane ride and this text is in the in-flight magazine. Would you read it?
Is the title engaging? Keep reading the text until you find the title is no longer engaging.
Genre Specific Gist Tasks
Read the report of a football match – which team does the author prefer?
Read the report of a football match you’ve seen – do you agree with the author’s representation of the game?
Read the review of a pop concert – would you like to have gone and seen it?
Read the review of a restaurant – would you take your partner / kids / parents / siblings / a first date / best friend there?
Read a recipe – could you make this dish?
Read a recipe – would your partner / kids / parents / siblings / a first date / best friend like this dish?
Read a discursive essay – is the author for or against?
Read a discursive essay – do you agree with the author’s overall opinion?
General Detailed Tasks
This text is about something you’re interested in. What does it add to your knowledge of the subject?
This text was written yesterday/today. How does it change your knowledge of the content?
Do you believe everything in this text is true?
Underline all of the facts in this text. Cirlce the author’s unsubstantiated opinions.
Which points do you agree with the author about? which do you disagree with? Why?
Genre Specific Detailed Tasks
Read the report of a football match you’ve seen – do you agree with the author’s opinion of each controversial incident?
Read the review of a pop concert – note some / five things that make you wish you’d been there.
Read the review of a pop concert – note things described that support your opinion of the band.
Read a recipe – what will you need to buy in order to make it? What parts of the process will you find most difficult? What things haven’t you done before?
Read a discursive essay – which arguments do you find convincing?
Read a discursive essay – which opinions expressed would you argue with?
Read the review of a restaurant – in how many ways is your favourite restaurant better?
Classifieds Page – Find a xmas present for your teacher
Classifieds page – Find a new job for your teacher / classmates / family
Classifieds page – You have 200 000 pounds. Find three houses to go and look at this weekend.
Choose a restaurant for your teacher to visit tonight with their partner / visiting parents / visiting sibling / best friend from school they haven’t seen for five years / a first date from your country
Find the best film for you / your teacher to see this weekend