Number one for English language teachers

Pre-reading: Making connections

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Extra

A fun and useful activity where students are encouraged to predict the story they are going to read.

As a warmer to start a reading or listening lesson, put on the board, pairs of words or phrases, which are going to occur in the reading or listening passage and ask the learners to suggest what connection there might be between the members of each pair. Depending on the level of language proficiency and imagination in the class, choose an appropriate mixture of the obvious and the not-so-obvious.

For instance, if the passage is going to be about a crow that accidentally managed to dial 999 on a mobile phone that dropped out of a farmer's pocket (but don't tell them this!), you might choose:

  • crow – beak
  • farmer – mobile phone
  • mud – farm
  • tractor – dropped out
  • emergency – number

And so on.

On the basis of the connections they decide on, encourage learners to predict the story. Then move on to dealing with the actual reading or listening passage. This activity is both useful and fun. I hope you enjoy it!

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