Using graded readers with technology

Hi and welcome to my blog, especially if you came to my talk on using graded readers with technology at the Macmillan Teachers' Day in Seville yesterday.

Above you have a slightly edited version of my PointPoint, with the tasks I proposed and all of the links.

As I suggested, the tasks have been designed to be done — as far as possible — with just about any reader (graded or unabridged versions) and just about any age. A few (Glogster, for example) are probably best suited to teens, but things like making oral presentations are equally suited to teens or adults.

The use of technology can enhance the interest of a reading book (the latter probably not something most learners are in the habit of doing!) but there can also be a magic moment that can come when you use class readers: the technology isn't in use and your learners are actually talking earnestly about the story and its characters and their motives and so on, and the reading and the talking are actually driving language learning.

Technology can help get you to that moment…

Thanks for coming to the session, and if there are further questions, comments, etc., do either mail them to me, or leave them here and I'll get back to you.

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  1. One of the great questions people asked me at the end or afterwards: how much time should you devote to a reader?

    It depends, obviously, on things like the length of the book, but I think the crucial thing is NOT to spend too long. In order to keep people interested in the book, it's better to spend too little time on it, than too much.

    Assuming the typical 3 hours a week you get in a language school in Spain, perhaps 5-7 hours spread out over, say 4-6 weeks, possibly not spending more than 30-45 mins. on any one day (assuming two 90 minute classes a week).

    With an unabridged reader in, say, a CAE or Proficiency class, always assuming that you're generating lots of interest in the story, you might want more time (but even there I don't recall any book I've ever dragged on for more than 8 weeks).

    Vital: don't go on so long you kill interest in it!

  2. For some reason the Slideshare embed there isn't working properly.

    If you click the link and go to the version on Slideshare you will be able to view the presentation as intended.

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