Good Things Come in Threes
I am writing this today when many many years have passed since these activities took place in the school Library. The Library was finally opened up on Friday, May 20th 2011 with an interesting major objective: to use the facilities as a Resource Learning Centre [BECREA].
In my position as Deputy Headmistress I was originally commissioned to install this project to promote the students’ Reading skills, and after a 12-month training course organised by CEP Málaga a huge array of possibilities was presented once unveiled the potential of the BECREA.
Graded Readers can be exceptional resources for learning foreign languages at any level. If you want your students to improve their Listening and Pronunciation as well, I highly recommend combining reading of actual books with listening to the audio books. So the recommendation is to read the book whilst listening to the audio book version.
Reading alone will not help students with their pronunciation in English because most frequently how a word is written does not correspond with how a word is pronounced. For instance, reading alone will not show students that some words are pronounced the same only spelt differently (like, heir and air) so if they start introducing audio books they will start to learn these differences and they will start to learn the pronunciation of words.
«If you listen to a word as you read it the brain will start to make the connections and next time you see that word you will know how to pronounce it. Likewise, next time you hear that word you will know how to spell it» [EwL]. It is a very effective method recommended for students of English at any CEFR level.
I can list here only a few reasons why graded readers are most welcome in ESL classrooms:
- The student is engaged in stories of their favourite genre
- They improve their reading skills
- They can practice pronunciation whilst listening to the audios provided
- They certainly build up their vocabulary
- Their writing skills can get enhanced considerably
- The stories provide great prompt for speaking tasks
- A million collateral topics for discussion come along
- Highlights of the stories can be performed by the students like role-plays or speeches
- You name it…
Here are some multidisciplinary activities created for speaking tasks training –Monologues and Dialogues– based on Cambridge Readers:
Lower-Intermediate Level: No Place to Hide
Lower-Intermediate Level: Tales of the Supernatural
Intermediate Level: Tasty Tales
Intermediate Level: Fruitcake special
Here are the «Three Good» favourites: