Home Forums iTDi TESOL Certificate Learning to read: Recognizing words Learning to read: Recognizing words

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    • #8407



      Think again about the lesson from Activity 7. Have you used this technique or something similar? How did it go? Will you use it again? If you haven’t used it, do you think you will try it? Why or why not?

      Your students probably have a chance to read English words outside the class. Here are some examples: hotel, passport, chicken, departures, menu, change.
      Think of 5 to 10 other English words that you can commonly see in your country, and share them in your reply below.

    • #8518

      Steven Herder

      I haven’t done that activity exactly like that but I think it looks like a good activity!
      It looks fun, engaging, and useful. Whenever I find activities that hit all three of those words, I have great confidence that it will work well with my students.

      In Japan, there are many English words written in public. For example,

      Central Exit
      South Entrance
      North Gate
      Summer Sale

      • #8539

        That’s a good simple criteria to follow, and I agree that if something is fun (or interesting), engaging and useful, it’ll go down well with my students, too!

        Have you used a different but similar technique? And, if so, how did it go?

    • #8560

      Barbara Bujtás

      I use this technique when exploiting videos, I take screenshots and prepare sentences or short paragraphs, grading the task, not the input.

      English words in Hungary:

      sensitive skin

      Words that kids and teens use:

      • #8585

        Nice way to use and exploit technology with learning. What do you and your students like about the activity?

        Can you illustrate how you ‘grade the task’ (as opposed to the input)?

    • #8566

      Rhett Burton

      I use ‘Text to Picture Matching’ activities at a variety of different levels.

      Level 1 – students match pictures with letters. I aim to transfer what they know aurally to the written form. a= picture of an apple. apple = a picture of an apple. 

      Level 2 – Students must match basic sentences to pictures that they have taken the time to commit to memory. Example sentence: I have a pencil. Students then would match the Target sentence to the image containing a pencil.

      Level 3 – Students must match detail from what they know and remember to the text. Example sentences – Jack is 10. Jack is 12. Jack is 13 years old. Students must choose the sentence ‘Jack is 13.’ because they have read it in their reader.

      ‘Text to Picture Matching’ activities work well when you can match the students’ skills with graded materials. They show comprehension and provide problem-solving skills.

      Yes, I will continue to use these types of activities to create comprehensive reading materials.

      5 words that my students might see.
      My students are between Kindergarten and Grade 3.
      They see words like ice cream, toys, games, books, movie characters (venom, hulk, etc)

      • #8586

        I like the way you have graded your tasks from sound/letter recognition to sentences using familiar language, especially as so many learners struggle with reading due to poor selection of passages with overwhelming amounts of unknown language.

        With movie and cartoon characters for young learners, it can also be fruitful to exploit their catchphrases. I really noticed this after my kids first picked up some Spanish from watching Dora The Explorer a few years ago and started saying Vamanos! to each other. If they were learning Spanish, I might borrow Barbi’s screenshotting idea then add some empty speech bubbles for them to fill in with expressions like Vamanos! and Hola!

    • #8596

      I’ve used matching pictures to sentences where students can see a corresponding number of pictures and sentences. These work particularly well with cartoon strips that I may also give cut up or out of sequence.

      Rather than eliciting answers from students one by one right away, however, I always allow students to check first in pairs or 3’s. This gives them extra listening and speaking practice, more confidence in their answers and speaking aloud, plus I get an extra chance to monitor their interactions. It also makes it more learner-centred.

      I also allow students to decide which answer they give rather than risk nominating students to answer a question they can’t. And it gives them more autonomy.

    • #8597

      Common words learners see in Malaysia

      English is a common language in many parts of Malaysia but here are some frequently seen words in public:

      1. Open
      2. Welcome
      3. Food
      4. Drinks
      5. Cash
      6. Toilet
      7. Push
      8. Pull
      9. Exit
      10. Thank you


    • #10577

      Masatoshi Shoji

      I have not done such an exercise.

      In Japan, sports, vitamin, top, fashion, and car

      • #10582

        OK. Remember, however to evaluate the activity with regards to your own context: “If you haven’t used it, do you think you will try it? Why or why not?”

    • #10626

      Masatoshi Shoji

      I want to try but needs more strategies to give a lesson.
      Adopting many things is important. Afterwards, I’ll decide whether I will repeatedly use it or not.

    • #11675

      scott gray

      I have done something similar but I would like to use more of the pictures to match the sentences part. That I have not done mostly because of time restraints in the class or lack of prep time. Working in my high school a few years ago many times all I had for prep time was about 5 minutes before class on classes I had to teach but were not ‘my’ classes. Also, even now, many times come into work and another teacher is like X teacher is absent you have to take these four of his classes today. So Not enough time but now I think I have enough control I can get the time for prep and I look forward to using them more often.

      • #11683

        Indeed. Having sufficient preparation time is so crucial and often a key consideration for teachers is “Am I teaching this lesson just one or multiple times?”

    • #11758

      Rhett Burton

      I use this strategy in reserve quiet often.

      I give the students pictures first then I try to elicit their understanding of what they know from the pictures. After that, we look at the text to see what is in the text. I have often debated flipping this process around but I feel I most of my young learners want to rely more on their imaginations to find meaning than just the words on a text. I try to match their l2 language with their thoughts in L1.


      • #11766

        With young learners as well as beginners in an EFL context, I agree it’s often much more effective to start with a picture and what they know or can talk about. Starting with text first can be daunting unless they are already proficient readers, in which case they can usually enjoy the activity either way.

    • #11768

      Jessica Sohn

      I haven’t done any activities exactly the same but I think it looks interesting and useful.
      At our hakwon, we have a very systematic syllabus set up.
      So I will have to figure out where and when exactly I can use that activity.
      Whenever I get a chance and it fits the lessons, I would love to try it out.

      With young learners (first~second graders)
      I normally use pictures when teaching vocabulary and have them look at the picture first and to imagine and guess first.

      In Korea, there are many English words written in public.
      Pull, Push, Sale, Menu, Hotel, Coffee, Taxi, etc…

    • #11770

      So, with English words that appear often in public (especially in EFL contexts), what kinds of activities can you create for your learners?

    • #15277

      Naoko Amano

      I do this activity at the grammar class for elementary students class. I think this activity is fun and useful.I often do this activity as “ I SPY GAME”    I use textbook they’re using, Cambridge YLE picture book and actual  I SPY book series.

      I attached a  handout which I made for students. They draw lines to match the picture and sentences.  For more activities, students create other sentences and share with other classmates.

      and this is the link for picture book.


      house, pull, push , coffee, tea, open, close , Let’s ~ , book

      By the way, it is natural to guess what comes next, what is happening next when we read text. However at Japanese school classroom, students must know all of the meaning of the words. There are many worksheets to translate each word not sentences. They have to translate even be-verbs.

      So when I teach how to read the text in ESL way, students feel they are cheating or breaking rules.   They will notice it is OK as they learn, but I often feels it is difficult to let them believe they way of reading.

    • #16444

      Rhett Burton

      I like this exercise because it has students use two different skills to complete the task.

      1. Visual cueing – The brain processes the symbols from the picture to create meaning.

      2. Textual cueing – The brain process letters to create meaning from text.

      3. The brain connects the visual input from images and text to compare and contrast based on the known information.

      Bonus: These types of activities are easily scalable to the online delivery of content.

      Caution: The brain will rely on visual cueing to make up for limited reading skills. If you want to focus strictly on reading, you may limit the content to text only. Introduce the visual cueing at a different stage in the activity seqeunce.

      Curious – The brain will rely on visual cueing to make up for limited reading skills. If you want to focus strictly on reading then you may want to limit the content to text only. Introduce the visual cueing afterwards


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