The language-learning topic of my lesson is reading. This very important competence, through which the students easily learn new words, helps them also to assimilate and internalise target-language utterances and sentence structures, just by reading.
Even if they don’t know all words, they are able to understand the main concept of a text by using their morphological, syntactic, semantic, general world knowledge and the knowledge of word meaning inferred from their first language. So the learners are able to combine their background knowledge and contextual clues to understand the meaning of an unknown word or even a whole text.
But how do I get the students interest to read anything at all?
The text has to be interesting and motivating. The pupils need to be caught by the content and the text has to meet the their requirements. Furthermore the text should be as authentic as possible, so the students can work with a real-world source to practice not only their reading skills, but also to improve their knowledge about cultural issues, regional studies and so on.
Reading in the second language classroom should also include the structure of a pre-, while- and post-reading task. Pre-reading tasks activate the pupils background knowledge, prepare them for the text, raise their expectations about it and motivate to learn more about the given topic. While-reading tasks help to understand the text in general as well as in detail. Pupils can check if they understood the text properly if they’re able to answer while-reading questions. Post-reading tasks conduce as consolidation of the language and extend the content by integrating other skills, such as writing, speaking, etc.
The chosen text for this lesson is from the magazine “Spot on”, which publishes English texts for young second language learners every month. The article “City of states, city of culture” describes briefly the main facts about New York City (boroughs, sights, slang, immigration,…) and enlarges upon celebrities, living and working in the city.
This emphasis makes the article quite interesting for young learners and motivates them to read thoroughly.
The text also dips into a variety of different topics and intrigues to learn more about them (immigration, different nationalities/ cultures, history of the city, sights and their significance,…). Therefore this article suits perfectly as an introducing text for the topic New York City.
The students also learn a lot about American culture in general and what it means to live in a mega city like this.
New words are introduced at the bottom of the second page, which supports the students confidence in reading this relative long text.