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Reading all year round

January 06, 2021 by Nóra Wünsch-Nagy

Let’s make it a year of reading in our language classes. This time, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, we’ve gone for a flexible monthly plan with online and offline reading and activity options. We think we can all agree that after last year, nothing seems like a challenge, and we have all much more experience to deal with any kind of learning situation. One thing is for sure: reading and learning must go on, and we teachers must always endeavour to find the best solutions for our students. Now let’s see how a good plan and resources can help with this.

We have five approaches to planning your reading this year. Of course you can combine them, and create a colourful and exciting reading plan with your students. To help you with this, we have created a monthly reading planner. Download it with our recommendations for each month. You can add your own ideas to this list, too.

1 Read around the months.

Each month offers a great theme, and you can pick stories which are connected to them. This way you can make sure that your students read at least one reader a month. 

For example, here are some tips.

January: New beginnings

February: Love

March: Let’s visit Ireland

April: Into nature

May: Think (like Sherlock)

June: Travel

July: American Independence Day

August: Human rights

September: Back to school!

October: Autumn books

November: World Philosophy Day

December: Holiday reading!

We recommend that you check out our blog for a lesson plan or project ideas for our readers.

2 Read around your course book.

You know both your course book and your students’ general interests. Read through the contents page to see what topics you are going to cover, and then have a look at our readers catalogue to see which books  fit best with the themes.

3 Read around themes.

If you would like to be more flexible, dedicate a lesson to planning together with your groups at the beginning of the year. Come up with 12 topics your students are interested in, such as sports, space, nature, animals, detectives, adventure and travel. Then find readers which focus on or include your chosen topics.

4 Read a variety of genres.

Graded readers allow your students to read comfortably at their current reading level but it is always a good idea to introduce a variety of texts. Poems, graphic novels, plays and short stories can all be introduced (just remember to check the levels first and pre-teach/activate Download our Reading Planner and challenge yourself to read as many genres as possible. Although it is not essential to finish every novel that you start reading, try to tick off a genre only when you have completed the reading. You and your students can decide to read 12 pieces of literature this year, and remind yourselves that being an overachiever in reading is not a bad thing.

5 Discover new authors. 

You might love crime fiction and have not read many historical novels. You might have read a lot of American authors, but you do not know many Australian ones. It is time to discover new names and new styles. Ask your students for book recommendations, and talk about who their favourite authors are.

Three practical tips

1 Book Clubs and Reading Groups

You can motivate your students to read more if you create reading groups or set up a book club based on your students’ interests. If you find it hard to have enough students in the same group, students with different interests can inspire each other, and you can ask them to pick books for each other. Ask them to keep a reading group diary in a notebook or on their mobile phones. The trick is to keep checking on their progress and make it part of your weekly or monthly routine.

Check out our Book Club posts and resources for more tips:

2 Online reading ideas

We have learnt that we need to be ready to go online and offline without much notice. It’s a good idea to combine both approaches as it can motivate your students to engage more.

Visit our blog posts online and collaborative reading for some fun ideas:

3 Set up a classroom or a school library

If you decide to make it a year of reading, it’s a good idea to create a library which can be used by future classes!

We have a series of blog posts which help you set up and manage a classroom library. Check them out now:


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