Sunday, May 3, 2009

MAKING READING FUN!!!

"Emma" is the well-known novel written by Jane Austen. It is interesting to discover the mysterious world of the 18th century country lifestyle. The author peoples her book with typical characters of her time but who are still appealing to the reader of the 21st century. That is why I chose this book for my reading class. However, the students read the adapted version because their level of profeciency is that of the begenners. I think they got the idea of the book but above all they managed to understand the true nature of every character.

In order to make the reading more appealing I came with several activities such as:
  1. miming the character (here the students had to think of a particular trait of a character and try to mime it. Thus, when they presented Mr. Weston they were miming people who have headaches, or Mr. Elton as a very pious man, etc.);
  2. role-play (several scenes were staged up by the students);
  3. translation (as I have a group of translators I came with the idea that some of the characters did not know English so they needed translators to understand each other);
  4. foreshadowing (the students were asked what they thought would happen next);
  5. the students were asked to imagine themselves in the shoes of certain characters and tell what they would do if they were one of them;
  6. debates were organized where two characters argued over an issue (e.g. Emma vs. Mr. Knightly: the former pleaded for matchmaking, the latter was against it);
  7. a talk-show where the main characters took place;
  8. an imaginary interview with the characters they liked.
Their reading was crowned with the final project where they had to present the characters of the novel.

video