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Monday, July 9, 2012

Book Club in the EFL classroom

Thoughts and experience on how learners from a variety of levels can benefit from a structured book activity.

books  books  books !
Book activity refers to the act of assigning students a book or short story to read with the purpose of a further discussion.

Roughly speaking, the procedure involves assigning a book for your group, giving them some time to read (either during class or as homework) , guiding them via questions or points to observe and, gran finale :  a post reading activity which is usually exchanging some main info from the title read. 
* How can we think outside the box and engage our students to feel that it is
indeed a meaningful activity and an opportunity to enhance their vocabulary, language acquisition, knowledge of another culture, speaking , not to mention other features ?
Take freedom of choice as a very important aspect here. 
In case it is a possibility for you , select some titles before hand (I would recommend short stories at first ) and offer the group the chance of leafing through each of the suggestions. 
Taking into consideration the access to e-books, make that a choice too. 
There are many classics already available for free download for mobiles, tablets, e-readers... The digital media can be brought into the classroom this way as well.
App_Audio Books Library
The link below gives more info on e-books possibilities:

In case in the institution where you work has a mandatory list of titles, I'd recommend an attempt to contextualize the books beforehand by exhibiting sites, film parts if is the case,some dialogue extracts... in order to call the students' attention. Very often institutions choose a particular book for a major reason.
Suggest or agree on features students should focus on, e.g.: characters, new words learned, places mentioned, favourite quotations ...If you feel there's so much to cope, divide the features between the groups.
Also,decide on a reasonable timing for the reading task and on the chosen date,allow students some time to rehearse before actually exchanging their views with the colleagues. 
Select some meaningful parts from the book, e.g. : a quotation , the attitude of a character  and
have students react to it or relate it to their personal experience.
Encourage students to share what they have learned from the book activity.
Having a "Book Activity"or "Book Club"moment at least once during the term provides students with a rewarding reading experience. 

What do you think ? Let me know what you think on this topic in the comment box below :-)


1 comment:

  1. i absolutely agree with using books as a learning strategy. it is really rewarding for students as they not only learn new words but they share the experience of reading and lively discuss and have fun!