In an ideal book club you do not need to assign tasks because the members have sufficient language skills to discuss the texts. However, in a book club for second language learners it is beneficial to have role cards, which will help members focus on certain areas. It also helps them learn to cooperate and take responsibility for a role in a team.
We suggest these six roles for your book club sessions. In the beginning you can assign these roles to your students, but after some sessions they can swap roles.
It is a good idea to match the roles with suitable personality types for the first sessions. You will see some advice after each role. The important thing is that everyone has the chance to be responsible for each role. You can also download the role cards in PDF format here.
They make sure that everyone joins the conversation during the sessions. They ask general questions about the themes, the plot, the characters and the setting. They are responsible for the meeting schedule form and writing notes during the meeting.
TIP: Chatty, extrovert students can be the first ones to take this role. They will feel confident enough to initiate discussions and invite the others to join in.
They find interesting new vocabulary in the story.
TIP: Students with an eye for detail can be the first ones to take this role. In the beginning you can assign this role to quiet, introverted students who do not mind working alone.
They write a few sentences about the plot and ask questions about it.
TIP: Choose students who are confident storytellers and like logical analysis. Intuitive students will be good for this role because they like understanding the general gist of the texts.
They collect information about the characters in the story.
TIP: Observant, sensitive student with good interpersonal skills will be good for this role, students who are open and understanding with people.
Cultural Connections Expert
They study the culture and world of the story and compare it with their own world. They ask the other members questions about various topics like school, family, friendship, technology. They also look for connections between the story and other works of art.
TIP: Intuitive, creative and innovative students will be perfect for this role. Students who are curious and like using their imagination and seeing relationships will enjoy this role. These students look for intellectual challenges and they feel motivated in this role.
They find information about the geographical place and the time of the story.
TIP: Choose students who are good at working with audio-visual materials and doing research on the Internet. It is a good idea if these students like history and geography a lot because this role involves doing some research.
Download our Role cards from the Helbling Book Clubs section here.