“Read the dialogue and answer questions”. As a language teacher we often use dialogues during our lesson. They are useful – providing grammar and vocabulary for a specific situation. Sadly students tend to race through with minimal comprehension. My goal has been to design post-reading activities really requiring students to have understood the “who, what, where, when, why, how” of the text.
Once they have finished the story and comprehension questions they don’t see the text again. All interaction during the post-reading activity is in the target language – and they self-evaluate on doing this. I mark the produced work for completion only and often post it for them to enjoy afterwards.
Visual representation of the story – A job interview dialogue led to a picture poster of the main character and his relevant information. The only words allowed were captions.
Retelling with a twist – In one instance – a travel dialogue – students orally discussed the story and presented a diary entry of it- with the added twist of a zombie!
Poster based upon readings – A unit on ‘health’ had students construct a ‘healthy living poster’ based upon what they had read.
Not only do students now really concentrate on understanding the text as they read, they ask what they will be doing after reading. Their speaking in Japanese during class has also really increased.
“Read the conversation and answer questions”…and then what?!