Extensive Reading-2

In my previous post I tried to give some general information about ER. In this post I will give more detailed information about ER.


First I’ll share my notes about pre-reading and while-reading activities.

Pre-reading activities:


“Like a swan’s strong feet moving busily under water, helping it to glide smoothly across a lake, students need adequate preparation if they are to read smoothly.” by Bill Bowler

This quote actually summarizes the importance of pre-reading activities. These can be done different way

  • Asking students questions about the cover image.
  • Asking questions about the back cover-“blurb”
  • Having students guess the order of the chapter titles given.
  • Having the students narrate the story beforehand only by looking at the illustrations in the book 😉
  • Having the students predict what will happen after reading the first chapter of the book or after watching a short video clip taken from the story.

As you see these are great ideas which will help us while encouraging our students to talk 🙂 What’s more by using these ideas in our classes we can build motivation in our students, introduce the new vocabulary, geographical setting, time setting, characters and the author’s life.


What’s important here is that our aim in this section shouldn’t be getting the right answer from our students but for them it should be learning to hypotise before they read.

While-reading activities:

“Like the swan swimming smoothly, we want students to read fluently.” Bill Bowler

To make this happen, we should set some while-reading activities like true/false statements, order the events, multi choice completion of tailless-headless sentences, paragraph containing factual errors, match characters with their actions etc.

Bear in mind:

These activities should:

  • target key information
  • not involve much writing
  • be clear, easy to follow
  • feasible doable according to the level of the class

Continous assesment of ER


Lastly, I want to mention about the continuos assessment of Extensive Reading. I can hear you saying that ER shouldn’t be assessed but if you need to assess it here are some ideas for you 😉


  1. Portfolio work: By having your students keep a portfolio, you can witness the process of their learning and you can grade each piece of draft and the final version of the written works about the ER.
  2. Assessed oral work: You can assess the in-class participation of your students by observing them during the pre/while and post-reading activities. you can grade different occasions like drama,role-play or discussion.

At the you can see the benefits of the continuos assessment in ER. By doing so the teacher can:

  • focus on process,not just the product
  • see the progress over time
  • see that assessment matches with the teaching.

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