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Guidelines for Assignment 3: Language skills related tasks

The following document is a set of guidelines for Assignment 3. It should be read in conjunction
with the Assignment 3 Rubric as the guidelines will refer to different sections of the rubric. This
document is designed to help you prepare for the assignment, but if you have further questions,
contact your Online Course Tutor. There will also be an Assignment Forum where you can post
questions and comments.


In this assignment you will select an authentic reading text and plan a lesson around it for
learners. As a practising teacher, you will often find it useful to use authentic texts to add variety
to your lessons and provide learners with exposure to a broader range of text types. It also
prepares students to deal with texts they might need to understand outside class.

While reading these guidelines, you might find it useful to refer to the receptive skills lesson
procedure which was analysed in Helping Students Understand Texts: Reading and the information
about how to exploit texts in Authentic Materials.

You can use clear sections and headings for each stage, but you do not need to include a lesson
plan. Please submit a sourced copy of your text, and any worksheets for the two reading tasks
with your assignment. It is a good idea to include these documents in an appendix.

Section 1: Choosing your text

Authentic reading texts come from a number of sources, including books, magazines, newspapers,
and the Internet. In Authentic Materials, a brochure about London was exploited to help develop
students reading skills. Other text types, such as recipes, jokes, poems and emails can also be
used to develop reading skills. It is important to bear in mind the needs and interests of your
learners when you are looking for a suitable text. Here are some useful questions to consider:

is the language in the material suitable for your students level?

is the material an appropriate length?
would your students be interested in the topic?
is it a text type which they might need to read outside class?

Section2: Lead-in

After you have chosen your text, you need to consider how you are going to raise your learners
interest in the text. In The Learner First several ways of engaging students in topic and text were
explored. In the demo lesson of the boy and the bank, the learners were asked to look at a photo
of Oliver outside the bank and discuss what they thought the story was about. It would be useful
to refer back to the section on different types of lead-ins in The Learner First to help you design
this part of your lesson.

Section 3: Initial reading task

There is a range of initial reading tasks you can design for your students to help them gain a
general understanding of the text. In the demo lesson in Helping Students Understand Texts:
Reading, learners were asked to predict the content of the text about Oliver and the bank and then
read to check their predictions. Other examples of initial reading tasks include asking students to
choose the most appropriate title for a text, or asking them an easy question, such as How do the
people in the text feel? Remember to state which reading sub-skills your tasks will practise, for
example, reading for a general understanding or reading for specific information.

Section 4: Second reading task

The second reading task should encourage learners to read the text more thoroughly. This might
involve reading for detail or interpreting opinions in the text. In Helping Students Understand
Texts: Reading this was done by learners ordering events in the story about Oliver and the bank.
For this task, you could write a series of questions, such as open comprehension questions,
multiple-choice or true/false questions. Ensure that your questions are worded in such a way that
they test your students reading ability. For example, if the text says Bob shot Jill, the question
Who shot Jill? will not test comprehension. Therefore, do not use exactly the same words or
phrases from the text in your questions.

Section 5: Productive skills follow-up activity

In this section of the assignment, you can design one or two productive follow-up tasks. In the
demo lesson about the boy and the bank in Helping Students Understand Texts: Reading,
Jacqueline asked learners to discuss their opinions on Olivers behaviour and whether they would
have acted in the same way. When you are designing your task(s) you can also choose to focus on
writing, for example, you could ask students to write a letter to one of the characters in the text.

Section 6: Rationale and references

According to the assessment criteria for the Language skills related tasks assignment, candidates
need to demonstrate their learning by finding, selecting and referencing information from one or
more sources. Therefore, it is important to reference at least one methodology text to support
your ideas. You can use the book(s) that were recommended in the Pre-Course Task. Be sure to
include the author, year of publication and page number when quoting directly. Below is an
example of how to refer to reference books in the body of your assignment:

The article will enable the students to practise their reading skills. In order to do this it is important to
engage and motivate the students in the subject area. As Riddell explains (Riddell, 2003:64).
I would do this through the use of realia, e.g. fast food snacks and pictures to elicit which foods are healthy
and unhealthy and ask the students what types of snacks they like to eat.

Assignment checklist

It is sometimes necessary to resubmit assignments, often because parts of the rubric have been
omitted or the criteria have not been met. In fact, re-doing the assignment can be a useful part of
the learning process. However, some common mistakes can easily be avoided, and the list below
shows the main reasons why candidates have to resubmit Assignment 3:

the text is too easy or difficult for the level

the topic of the text is culturally inappropriate for the group of learners
the text has not been sourced
only one reading task is described and submitted
one of the reading tasks focuses on lexis or grammar rather than a developing a reading
the reading task does not practise the sub-skill identified, e.g. an initial reading task which
aims to practise reading for an overall understanding asks students to read the text for
specific information
a copy of each worksheet to be used in class (with answers) is not submitted
no productive follow-up task is submitted
reference books which have been consulted are not sourced.