My idea about extensive reading
Reading is a basic skill but not easy to acquire and teach but reading for pleasure is what we have to aim to. Extensive reading is an alternative approach to have good readers who focus their attention on the meaning rather than the language of the text. My experience is limited because I’ ve always been afraid of losing time involving students in extensive reading as it takes time and I was obsessed by classwork to do and mark, programmes to develop and something more. But last year I enrolled in an on-line course which celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare and it was my source of inspiration. I took my students to the school library and I asked them to choose one of Shakespeare’s works. They took about twenty minutes before deciding but finally all of them made their choice. They read at school ( I gave them 20 minutes each week) and at home. I didn’t ask them to summarize or write a report about their book but I only asked them to underline the words they didn't know , sometimes I asked them some informal questions. During this period of extensive reading I showed them videos about the Elizabethan Period and Shakespeare without telling them that it was linked to their reading activity but they often helped them to understand what they were reading. After the extensive reading phase I asked them to use a tool to explain their book to us. Some students used prezi , some storyboardthat ,others calameo…. It was so successful that I decided to involve my art colleague and the activity continued using thinglink to analyse the symbolic meaning of Elizabeth’s portraits. I think they ‘ll never forget what they learnt by doing!