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Displaying and sharing reading materials

Assessing different ways of sharing and displaying reading materials with learners.
When you’re planning, another really important thing is how you’re going to show materials to people. Do you have a white board setup? Do you have something that you want them to read? Do you have like an exercise and how are you going to show it to them? So is it a PowerPoint slide? Is it something that’s a PDF and they print it off or they view it on their screen at home? Are you going to speak it and how much text do you actually display at one time? So for example, for a reading, it kind of really makes more sense for you to be able to show that text as a whole.
But if you show it as a whole, it doesn’t really fit on your screen. So you’ve got to consider how you might split that text up or whether you’re going to scroll through it on the screen as you’re talking. And sometimes that can be really complicated because you’re trying to read, and you’re trying to communicate, and you’re trying to scroll all at the same time. So sometimes it’s better just to cut it up into smaller pieces, smaller chunks. So you might just pop a paragraph on the screen or even a few lines from the paragraph and focus your attention on that part of the text.
Maybe they’ve got the handout with a full text, but what they see on the screen is just a smaller part of the text. And that goes for sort of exercises and activities as well. Having a hand out with the full text or the full information is a really useful resource because then they can see how it fits into the plan. They can see and they can refer to other things at the same time. Whereas on your screen, you’ve just got this really small square that you’re looking at and it does become quite difficult sometimes to follow the sequence or to follow a reading text.

When teaching a reading lesson, it’s important to plan how the text will be shared with learners. Will you display it on your platform’s whiteboard? Display it on your screen and share it with learners during the lesson? Or provide learners with a handout to print before the lesson? In this video Helen discusses some of the things teachers need to think about when planning reading lessons.

Task 1

Watch Helen and make some notes about these questions:

1. What different options does Helen mention for showing materials to learners?

2. What problems with displaying reading texts does Helen highlight?

3. What solutions does Helen suggest for sharing texts, exercises and activities.

Task 2

Now, evaluate each option yourself. Complete the table below with the potential strengths and weaknesses of each option.

Means of sharing reading material Strengths Weaknesses
Display the text on a whiteboard    
Display the text on your screen and share your screen with learners during the lesson    
Provide learners with a handout before the lesson, e.g. via email    
Provide learners with a link to the text during the lesson    
Please note down your answers on a piece of paper

Now, check your answers.

Reflect and share

How would you share reading materials with your students? Which digital tools would you use? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments.

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Teaching English Online

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