Worksheets: Comprehension Page

As with the other pages in the sequence, the comprehension page is relatively straightforward but also leaves open many opportunities for extensions and variations.

Usually I have students complete this section by referring to the reading page (detailed in the previous post) and once they have completed it, I show the slide quiz on the projector and we discuss the correct answers as a class. Many of the incorrect answers are also valuable for discussion and impromptu mini-lessons. It all depends on how much time you have left in the period and how interested students seem to be. If I feel that students don't need them, I leave the subtitles off but when there are certain sections that they have trouble understanding, I replay it with the subtitles.

The middle section is the "Phrase Match" which corresponds directly to the words that are highlighted in the online "audio notes". The idea is for students to develop their ability to guess meaning from context. To get a sense of the context, it is important that students are taught to constantly refer back the reading page. For checking answers, there are two options. One is simply to go over the answers in a group discussion. The more challenging activity is to play the online audio notes and have students attempt to check their own work. Since the explanations to phrases are not exactly the same as in the worksheet, it gives students another angle with which to process the meaning.

The "unscramble" section is loosely based on the questions that were posed in the interview. Sometimes the questions are worded exactly the same as in the interview, sometimes they are paraphrased, and sometimes since the interviews are unscripted and don't always contain four distinct questions, a new question is created based on the content. This format allows students to scan the text for hints on how to unscramble the questions without giving away all of the answers. Once everyone is finished I ask students to share their answers with the class and then ask students to summarize how the question was answered. This is a good chance to informally assess whether or not students are able to articulate the main ideas of the interview.

One of the many advantages of using ELLLO as a textbook is that free content is updated every week and we are constantly striving to make it more relevant to independent learners and classroom environments whereas textbooks remain static until you purchase a new edition which could take years. So if you have ideas about how to improve or revise the comprehension page (or any of the pages), please share your ideas here and we'll do our best to make it your number one ESL/EFL resource.

Next post, "Bits and Pieces"... Read more!