Alt du trenger til engelskundervisningen
Med stor variasjon av litterære tekster, inviterer tekstsamlingen i Echo til utforsking og muligheter med det engelske språket. Det er tre mål knyttet til tekstutvalget. Echo ønsker å vise deler av litteraturen som:
- er autentiske og engasjerende for elevene
- reflekterer relevante tekster og vise et stort spekter av formater
- tilbyr didaktiske muligheter basert på innhold, format og relevans til fagfornyelsen
For at elevene skal bli motivert til å lese, trenger de engasjerende tekster. Nylige PISA resultater viser at, for første gang, leser mindre enn halvparten av elever litteratur for underholdning. Denne utviklingen handler om endringer i fritidsaktiviteter blant ungdom og i samfunnet generelt. Ved sammenligning av andre underholdningsformer, kan lesing virke tregt og uinteressant. På samme tid er det fremdeles et faktum at litteratur et unikt verktøy for språklæring, i tillegg til å representere en enorm ressurs for kulturell og personlig innsikt, intellektuell stimulering og emosjonelt engasjement.
Disse faktorene har bidratt til tekstutvalget i Echo. Målet er at hver elev og lærer, uavhengig av deres tidligere erfaringer med litteratur, finner tekstene motiverende og inspirerende til videre lesing.
I Teachers guide finner du 10 forslag til hvordan du kan jobbe med litteratur:
Digital storytelling: Digital storytelling is a method that allows students to create their own multimodal products using a combination of sound recordings and images. The tool can be used in any subject and for a variety of topics, but is especially useful when working with literature because it allows students to make creative, personal responses to what they have read. Digital stories can be created individually, but working in pairs and small groups increases the communicative purpose of the task.
Reader’s theatre: The term “reader’s theatre” describes a way of working with literature by reading texts aloud in assigned roles. In its simplest form, it only requires portions of a text to be assigned to different students in a group, and time for students to practise their reading before sharing the result with their classmates. The method is a way of dramatizing the text, but it does not require students to act out roles apart from the effects they create with their voice. Given time to practise, the activity involves a low level of pressure and all students should therefore be comfortable participating in this activity. Students who normally struggle with reading have reported that this method is motivating and helps bring out the meaning of what they are reading.
Book browsing: mini-presentations: In this activity, students are asked to give a brief presentation (orally or in writing) about a book for young readers based only on its cover and the information it provides. This exercise is useful for making students explore new books and creating interest within the class. It could be a good way to start a reading project, where each student chooses a book to read over a given time period. If the school has a library, the students could be asked to pick one book each that they think looks interesting. Alternatively, the teacher provides books or titles about which the students can find information online. Some sites that list recent fiction for young readers are listed below. This activity is useful because it does not require much reading or time. Students could present the book orally to their learning partner or in groups, or make a brief digital presentation (for example, using digital storytelling).
From literature to wiki: Wikipedia is familiar to most students as a website that provides quick information about almost any topic imaginable. Few students, however, have ever edited or contributed to the encyclopaedia themselves. Perhaps surprisingly, Wikipedia contains many gaps, and filling such gaps can be a good and motivating trigger for a class project. In addition to the standard English Wikipedia, there is also a version with simplified English – The Simple English Wikipedia – designed for learners of English of all ages around the world. Articles here are generally shorter and must be written using “basic English vocabulary and short sentences”. This version of Wikipedia is less complete than the standard version, and there are many opportunities to create new wikis or edit existing ones connected to the texts and authors in the Echo text collection. A search for names of authors or works of literature in the Simple English Wikipedia will quickly show the pages that already exist on the topic, or suggest that you create a new page.
Tableau: Creating tableaus is a useful activity for visualizing a specific scene from a text. In a tableau, groups of students prepare and physically present a moment from a text as if it were a scene from a play, frozen in time. Students could either be asked to select a scene themselves, or the teacher can assign different scenes from one text to different groups. The activity challenges the students to look in detail at a portion of the text and discuss what is going on and how they are going to present it. In the process of preparing their tableaus, the students must think about a range of aspects, such as their position in relation to each other, the position they want their bodies to have, and their facial expressions. After they have presented their tableau, each group could be asked questions about the choices they made. This activity is helpful for students who have little reading experience, because the process of visualizing the words on the page is often what they find most difficult. Moreover, the activity shows that readers often have different opinions about what is happening in a text, and provides a good opportunity for the students to discuss their viewpoints and interpretations. Because of the element of surprise and the fact that students try to guess what is happening in the tableaus, the activity is very engaging and usually leads to a high level of participation.
Witness statements: A story usually involves critical moments in which the main character or characters have difficult decisions to make. Often, readers must fill in the gaps in stories, similar to the situation in court cases when people typically disagree about what actually happened. This activity, based on a drama technique, is modelled on court procedures. Witnesses are called to share their observations about the main character of the story. These witnesses should be characters not mentioned in the text – they can be imagined by the students or the teacher can provide a list of characters.
Station work: visualizing the text: Movement and variation in activities often motivate students and makes it possible to work with one text in depth while keeping students interested. Structuring activities in stations can therefore be a fruitful approach, though it may require some preparation and less control over the activity on the teacher’s part. The basic principle is that students spend a limited amount of time with a specific task at one station before moving on to the next. Over the course of 40 minutes, students can rotate between four stations, at which they work with different aspects of the text or with tasks that involve different skills or media. The suggestion below includes four activities in which students practise visualizing the text – an especially useful approach for students with little reading experience, who often struggle to imagine the abstract words on a page.
Working with song lyrics: Song lyrics are motivating and practical types of text for practising communicative skills and literary analysis. Most students are familiar with the songs that are popular among their age group, and many have strong opinions about different artists and the quality of their music. Song lyrics have the added benefit that they are usually fairly short and the language tends to be uncomplicated, as most popular music is targeted to a global audience.
Teacher in role: Teacher in role is a good pre-reading activity and teaser for the students. The teacher becomes a role model by using teacher in role as an activity, which in turn demystifies the teacher’s role and personifies the text. In this activity, the teacher steps into a fictional character’s state of mind and performs the role for the students. This can be done in many ways – for example, through change of costumes, accent, props and body language. Teacher in role requires that the teacher has good knowledge of the fictional text, which could be a short story, a novel or an excerpt from a novel.
Hooking the reader: First impressions are important, and this is true even when choosing books to read. Research indicates that book covers are one of the main factors influencing teenagers’ choice of books. As such, publishing houses targeting teenage audiences often place considerable emphasis on cover design and the “paratext” – elements such as the title, blurb, quotes from reviews and information about awards the book has received.
Hvert punkt har mer utfyllende informasjon og veiledning i nettressursen.
Under hvert hovedkapittel i Echo nettressurs finner lærer over 50 undervisningsopplegg, både til tekstsamlingen og til andre tekster. Undervisningsoppleggene viser kompetanse-, og læringsmål, lenke til den aktuelle teksten, og hvordan du kan vurdere aktiviteten.