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How do online reading lessons differ from face-to-face reading lessons?

Video and task on the differences between online and face-to-face reading lessons.
We’re talking about the differences between teaching reading online and teaching reading face-to-face. So what are the differences? Well, I think in terms of lesson structure, it’s probably going to be very similar. You’re going to want to do some kind of lead in where you’re encouraging learners to want to read or motivating them to want to read the text, where you maybe activate their existing knowledge and vocabulary so that they’re really ready to read. And then when they read, they’re going to have some kind of task to complete so that they’re focused and reading with purpose. And then after they read, they’re going to be doing some kind of follow up.
So it could be language from the text or some kind of discussion using the text as a springboard. Do you agree that that would be fine? Yes. Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. I think the question is of whether you read the text in and out of the classroom. Yes. And I think that’s an opportunity that online learning provides, that there’s this possibility that learners don’t have to read while you watch them read. But I think there are opportunities or necessities sometimes for learners to read online with you. And I think two things, really, dictate that decision. The first is the age of the learners and the second is the type of reading task or reading text.
So for example, when we’re talking about the age of the learners, when they’re very young learners, you would read with them in the class online because you are developing literacy at the same time as you are developing reading skills. But with older learners - Well, I guess with older learners, then, they can probably read at home, can’t they? Absolutely. Because they’re not so dependent on you. They’ve got the literacy skills to be able to do that. But I think, as you say, it does depend on the type of text and perhaps the task, doesn’t it? Yes.
I mean, if you are trying to develop, if you have a text, for example, that requires students to read for specific information, so scan reading. So for example, you have a newspaper article with times and so on about a cinema film that you’re going to watch, and you want the students to look at the advertisement and just say what time the film starts and where the film is on. Those are scan reading skills. And so you would do them in the class because you don’t want them to spend hours reading every word and looking them up in the dictionary. Those are speed reading skills. So you want to develop them online, in the lesson.
But other kinds of tasks or texts, for example, if you want them to read an article in detail. Yeah. Then I guess there’s no point. I mean, you’re just going to sit there in silence, aren’t you? Exactly. That’s something that really should be done at home. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And then in the lesson, what would you do? Well, then you would pick up on the task that you set them. So you would check the answers to the task, and kind of check understanding of the material, and then, of course, you then lead on to the follow-up activity that you planned. Exactly.
So you might get a speaking out of it, or you might get them to do a little bit of language work or that sort of thing, in real time in the lesson. So maybe there are other opportunities for reading in class as well. So you were mentioning scan reading and there’s also, I think, reading, looking at decoding skills. So thinking about things like - Referencing? Referencing, and substitution, ellipses, and things like that that can sometimes prove problematic for learners. And those are the kinds of things that you can also do in the classroom as well, aren’t they? So you would get them to actually do it in the lesson, while you’re there asking them questions. What does it mean here?
What does it refer to and so on.

Let’s now focus on how we can help learners to develop reading skills in an online environment. You’re going to watch a video of Lindsay and Marie Therese summarising what they think are the key differences between online reading lessons and face-to-face reading lessons.


Watch the video. Are these statements true or false, according to what you hear?

  1. The structure of a reading lesson is different in an online lesson.
  2. Whether learners do the reading task in the lesson or for homework depends only on their age.
  3. Young learners are more likely to read texts in the lesson.
  4. Adult learners are more likely to read texts in the lesson.
  5. If the lesson focus is reading for specific information, the learners can do the reading in class.
  6. If the lesson focus is reading for detailed information, the learners can do the reading for homework.
  7. When learners read a text for homework, the next lesson can focus on checking the learners’ understanding and follow-up work.

Check your answers.

In the next step, we’re going to look at different reading texts and activities and decide if the reading task is best done in or out of the lesson.

This article is from the free online

Teaching English Online

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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