How do your Teach Reading

Reading is a receptive skill like listening, whereas speaking and writing skills are productive. Receptive skills require interpretation and a response and productive skills require learners to produce language. 

Reading is a vital skill and often it’s neglected by teachers. It’s crucial to ensure this skill is covered in your course and transformed into great lessons.

However, it’s also important that a teacher does more than just putting a book or a text in front of students and asking them to read. If a teacher does this, students will find themselves trying to find the meaning of each word and the task will be lengthy and quite boring. 

In this Module, we will explore ways to make reading a fun and enjoyable activity. In exactly the same way as we teach other skills, it’s critical to choose the right material when you teach reading. If you can select an interesting text, even if it’s only a short passage, students will be motivated to read more.

As we have said many times during this course, adding context to a lesson is one of the most critical factors for creating a successful lesson. If you pick a Jamie Oliver recipe or tips on how to become a better tennis player for your students, they will enjoy the lesson, have fun and remember more. 

Let’s now focus on how to teach reading within the context of age, level and background of your learners. 

Let’s have a look at the structure of a reading lesson based on the PPP format.

Introduction and Warmer:

As in any other lesson, you will introduce yourself and write the lesson objectives on the board. You will then try a warmer activity to get your students in the mood and focussed. 


At this stage of the lesson, you will introduce a pre-reading activity that introduces the new topic and in some way connects to the main text you will read.

Let’s use an example of a Jamie Oliver newspaper article as the main text. In the presentation stage we can use pictures of food or discuss any famous chefs around the world or favourite food. You could also discuss the difference between a newspaper and a magazine. 

At this stage it’s also important to introduce new vocabulary from the text. You could get the students into pairs and ask them to try and match the new words with their definitions from a worksheet. 


Skimming for Gist

Once you have introduced the new words to the learners, it’s time to get them to try and answer a few questions about the text.

You could put them into pairs and get them to skim read the article so they can get the gist and a general idea of what the passage is saying. You could also get them to consider the headline and predict what the text is about.

At this stage, it’s very important that the questions you ask assist your learners in finding the gist of the text. For example, you could give them some multiple choice questions which require them to ascertain the main points of the article. 

It’s also crucial to monitor and use CCQs to check their understanding while they are doing this initial practice activity.

Detailed Analysis of Text: 

Scanning and Reading for Detail 

By this point in the lesson, you have given your students the main vocabulary and they should all have a gist of the article. You have monitored and asked CCQs by this point and understand where students are struggling. Now it’s time to have a more detailed look at the passage.

You now want your learners to scan the text and look for more specific details in the text. Your questions will try to reflect this increase in the focus of the article. You can use multiple choice, true or false or short answer questions. Matching activities are also good where students have to match a passage with the correct headline. 


Another good skill to teach at either this stage or during your presentation stage is prediction. You can ask your students to predict what the text is about from the headline or from reported speech or you can try to get them to predict what is going to happen next.

You can reveal what happens next by handing out the next paragraph or showing it on the projector. 


You can practise summarising a text where students write a few sentences to check understanding. A good activity for this is summarising movie reviews.

Summary and Reflection:

In this section, you can re-check understanding of vocabulary and see what the students enjoyed. 


End the lesson with Cooler.