In the IELTS Academic Reading Test, candidates will be given three different reading texts. The texts which your students need to read in the IELTS exam are authentic texts taken from a variety of sources such as newspapers, magazines, journals and the like. They have been written with the general reader in mind, and should be interesting to students looking to study in English speaking countries.

To download the 11 Different IELTS Reading task types PDF, scroll to the bottom of this page.

40 Questions over 60 Minutes (40 Marks)

From these three texts together, IELTS candidates must answer 40 questions and are given 60 minutes to finish all 40 questions. If they run out of time, then that's just tough luck, so your students should practice doing IELTS reading tests and practice finishing all 40 questions in 60 minutes. Questions all carry one mark and so the maximum score IELTS candidates can get for the IELTS Reading section is 40.

The IELTS Reading Test is NOT Meant to Confuse
At least one of the reading passages contains a some kind of logical argument. Reading passages may have visual materials such as graphs, illustrations, drawings or tables. If the reading text has vocabulary which is a little technical, then a small glossary to help the reader is given. The IELTS Reading test is not designed to confuse or purposely trip up your students.

Transfer Answers to the IELTS Answer Sheet

IELTS candidates can scribble their answers on paper if they want during the test, but by the end of the 60 minutes, all their answers should be transferred onto the official IELTS Reading answer sheet provided to them. If only half has been transferred, can guess what happens.
Your students should be careful when writing their answers as spelling and grammar mistakes will be counted! 

The 11 Different IELTS Reading Task Types
In general, the three reading passages your students will need to do in the test can be taken from 11 different reading task types. It is unusal for you students to have two of the same IELTS reading task type on their IELTS reading test, but can instead expect to have three different types of IELTS reading task. Make sure your IELTS students get a lot of practice in which each task type so that they will be well practiced and comfortable with all 11 IELTS Reading Test task types on the day.

by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen IELTS

Published in Exam preparation
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 11:47

The TEFL Lemon 'Juicy Warmers' Pack

Are you looking for TEFL warmers and ESL games for your English classes? You've come to the right page! Scroll to the bottom to download the free Juicy TEFL Warmers PDF Pack!

What is The Big Juicy Warmers Pack?

The TEFL Lemon Big Juicy Warmers Pack is a massive Warmers and Games PDF, crammed-full of TEFL warmers, TEFL games, ESL activities, English speaking activities, TEFL roleplays and more English games than you can shake a stick at!

This free PDF is pack is 100% TESL teaching GOLD!!!!

Whenever you teach English classes, you should always consider starting off your class with a fun warmer to raise those energy levels in your students and to help them relax and get ready for your classes.

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Download the TEFL Lemon Big Juicy Warmers pack below and Like our TEFL Lemon Facebook Page here. We have fresh TEFL games and warmers daily.
It was a day that changed the world forever, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on the World Trade Centre changed how we live or lives today and travel. Anyone old enough to have been around on that fateful day on September 1th 2001 will almost certainly remember where they were and how they felt when they heard the news that two passenger planes had purposely been flown into both towers of the World Trade Centre, New York, causing the deaths of thousands of innocent lives and billions of dollars in damage.

This ESL News lesson will be very interesting to English students and they'll certainly have opinions to share about this topic. 

There are a number of reading comprehension exercises to do in this class, perfect for intermediate and advanced students, those preparing for IELTS exams, or university / adult students. 

by Stuart Allen
Published in News lesson plans
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 08:15

ESL News English: The D-Day Landings (1944)

By 1944, the Second World War was on the turn after the German forces' disasterous campaign in Russia and with the Germans also being pushed back in North Africa. The time had come for a full allied landing in Europe which would eventually lead to the end of WWII.

The 6th June 1944 will be forever known as D-Day (which stood for 'Day' Day) - the day in which the allies stormed the beaches at Normandy, France, in a bid to make a foothold in Europe and to force the European campaign.

In this ESL News English lesson, students will discuss what they know about World War Two and any other conflicts they know. They'll then practice their reading skills to learn facts about D-Day and work in pairs to find and expand their vocabulary about war and conflict. Your students will love this war-themed News English worksheet about D-Day and the Second Worls War.

by Stuart Allen

Published in News lesson plans
In 1986, scientists were carrying out safety checks at the nuclear power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). There was an unforeseen power spike sending readings dangerously high. Minutes later, the heat inside the nuclear reactor had become so hot that the cooling rods designed to cool the reactor to safe levels had buckled and could not drop into place. From that moment, the reactor was doomed and there was a catastrophic explosion which blew off the roof of the reactor and caused radiation to be blown high into the air and the surrounding countryside. The Chernobyl Disaster is still the world's worst nuclear disaster.

The aims of this English News Lesson about Chernobyl are:

To read an authentic news article in English and improve their reading skills (e.g. reading for gist, reading for information) 

To acquire new vocabulary in a natural way (i.e. through reading a news article like we do in our native language) 
To have a discussion about peace in order for students to practice reasoning skills and to make them think

by Phil Senior
Published in News lesson plans
Every year, millions of Chinese students face the biggest challenge of their young lives by taking on the Gaokao exam - China's be-and-end-all test to see which students can enter which university. Failure in this exam can be disaster for the dreams of many young Chinese people and they will endure many sleepless nights revising for the exam and worrying about if they will pass it.

This ESL News lesson looks at the exam in a slightly different way in that the pressure to succeed and do well in this exam is so great, that a few people will try to cheat their way to sucess in the exam.

This News English lesson will be very relevant and interesting to students, especially in China. 

There are a number of different activities for your students to do, including colloquation activites, debate and discussion activities and other comprehension excercises. This will also be good for students in later middle school, high school, university or in preparation for an IELTS or TOEFL exam.

by Phil Senior
Published in News lesson plans
Nelson Mandela was born in South Africa in 1918 and became a leader among his own people in the 1960's during the time of unjust oppression against blacks in South Africa. In the late 1940's, he helped form the ANC Youth League and during the 1950's increasingly became more involved in politics and advocating civil disobedience against the racist apartheid government. In 1963, he was imprisoned on Robben Island and spent the next 27 years in prison. 

Following growing international pressure against apartheid, the system of segregation because of colour, the South African government began to free political prisoners and Mandela was historically released from prison in 1990

In this ESL news lesson, students will learn about the life of Nelson Mandela, his release from prison watched by millions around the world, and read his history making speech.

There are three activities for your students to do. There is a vocabulary match exercise where students must match vocabulary with meanings. The second activity has reading comprehension questons for the reader and finally, there is a team quiz activity for larger English classes. 

by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen
Published in News lesson plans
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:12

ESL: Teaching Reading to Young Learners

Reading is 'dreaming with your eyes open'. Teaching reading to young learners activates their imagination and enables children to master intonation and word stress from a young age. Reading also passively teaches punctuation and grammar. These skills are very important in achieving near-native English skills.
Using Technology to Teach Reading

I teach reading to young learners aged 7-9 in my English corners. As a modern teacher, I use my iPad and free online fairy tale books from my (Chinese) App Store. I have found a variety of free interactive books from TabTale.
Before we start reading, we play a ball game to review what we read during the previous English Corner. This allows them to physically warm up (it's winter), and to get ready for an hour of English only. I do not have an assistant teacher in these reading English corner sessions, so a good warm-up activity is essential.
Interactive Fairytales: Repeated Listening

Once our heart rate is up and our lungs are filled with good laughs, it’s time to listen to a fairy tale. The fairy tales are interactive and during the first listening they enjoy moving the characters and copying their voices. (I encourage them to go crazy – I believe children learn best when they don’t feel boxed in)

The first listening is for them to make out what the story is about and for them to settle down from a hyped-up warmer. The second listening is often calmer, as they know which characters move and they are aware of what is going on. During this session they listen more intently to the words in the interactive story and the sounds of the reader.

New Words in the Story
Inevitably there are new words they learn with each fairy tale; we play an interactive counting game to practice the new words e.g. 1 Witch, 2 Huntsmen, 1 Huntsman, 2 witches.  an apple, 2 oranges. etc…
Our third and final listening/reading is easy on the ear for them because they know the full story and understand all the new words. I read to them and ensure I stress each syllable and repeat each word and ask them to repeat after me as I read along. This helps the young learners greatly with pronunciation and correct word stress. 

Get the Students Reading Themselves
We then activate “read to myself”. I pick my strongest student to read the first page while the others listen, fairy tales from TabTale are often 15 – 20 pages long. Because each page is interactive, the reader has exclusive “rights” to the iPad. We each take turns reading. I encourage silly eyes and faces while they are reading. This allows me to see which student understands the story and which one doesn’t; a handy tip for teachers teaching reading to young learners! 

Teaching Reading: Difficulties in Pronunciation

Difficulties in word pronunciation come up while reading and I encourage them to correct each other. I only step in when none of my students know how to say the word. Fairy tales usually have simple language but occasionally words such as “conscientious” pop up and I step in, but aside from that, I encourage the kids to help each other read.

Doing Puzzles After the Relay Reading
After relay reading, that is, the students assisting each other to read and teaching reading in repeated steps, we do a jigsaw puzzle of the characters from the fairy tale. Each student relays the part of the story the puzzle refers to. There are a few good jigsaw puzzle programs you can use to make your own jigsaw puzzles online.

Read Once More a Little Faster
After the puzzle, we read once again, this time at a slightly faster pace than before. They enjoy it because they try to reader faster, louder and better than I do. After our third reading, we do a colouring activity in which each student gets to color in their favourite book character and say why they like that character.

The Final 10 Minutes of the Reading Class
By now I have about 10 minutes to the end of the reading class and I ask a volunteer to read. I usually have a child who is ready to show off their reading skills. They read and everyone reads and repeats after them. Then, each student has a sentence each and we read the book from start to finish. 

Same format, different story
The beauty of using the same format for different fairy tales (it’s important to always have a different fairy tale for each session), is they become accustomed to what is expected of them and have fun whilst reading in the class. The first week can be chaotic, as most Chinese students are not used to reading a long fairy tale all at once and mastering it in an hour. I have found that after three weeks of using the same format but different fairy tales, you will start to notice just how much better your students read than when they started. Teaching reading to Young Learners is a wonderful way to improve a broad range of laguage skills and I would encourage all teachers to incorporate reading into their classes.

by Rene Elliott
"Reading for pleasure has been revealed as the most important indicator of the future success of a child (OECD, 2002), and improvements in literacy, at any point in life, can have a profound effect on an individual."
Stories provide authentic context for the presentation of language. Young learners are eager to identify with characters, predict the upcoming plots and visualize the stories. Follow the tips below your students will benefit a lot from reading lessons with storybooks.
Identify the right focused area for your students.
There are five areas in reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension. Find out which area your students are supposed to focus on and select the relative readers.
Grade the reading level.
According to the popular system- Guided Reading Levels (GRL), developed by Fountas and Pinnell, storybook readers are graded from level A to Z with a variety of factors considered- book and print features, content, themes, language and literary features. It is essential to choose the right book based on the students’ actual reading ability.
Make full use of a variety of reading activities on each reading stage.
Every single element of the story reader could be of great value to achieve specific objectives. Take the front page as an example, the topic of the story, the theme picture, the characters could be introduced on the stage of Pre-reading. And prediction is an important strategy to be developed before the practice of some sub-skills. 
Achieve the teaching objectives of the development of reading sub-skills.
Reading for gist, reading for specific information and reading for details are three important reading sub-skills to be introduced. Teachers are supposed to be flexible task-setters and fun storytellers to make use of the readers. For instance, putting pictures in the right order, choosing the right topic for the story could be used as effective task for gist reading.
Provide a post-reading task.
Drawing mind maps, visualizing the story, rewriting the ending, anglicizing characters are some good examples for the follow-up reading activity. Encouraging the students to have their own reading response file and keep a habit of completing a reading log are also good ways to cultivate a continuous reading habit and motivation.
Using storybooks to clarify language or improve skills are incredible and effective, but it is more than that. A shared value immersion and mindset development are what I want to emphasize. Teaching reading at the language level is something what most language teachers can achieve. Is it possible if we all set a higher goal to enable our students to think critically, creatively and openly? 

by Sherbet Su

With three year's English teaching experience and one year's experience in English course book publication in China, Sherbet Su is capable of lesson planning and execution for multi-levels with considerable English methodological and linguistic knowledge. She was awarded Pass (Grade A) in Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults by Cambridge English Language Assessment in 2014. She has been working as a teacher trainer producing continuous didactic training workshops and initial trainings for ESL teachers.

Edmund V. Starrett (2007). Teaching Phonics for Balanced Reading. Corwin Press
Dugdale, G.and Clark C. (2008) Literacy changes lives: An advocacy resource London: National Literacy Trust.
In the autumn of 1888, Victorian London was gripped by a terror which it had never known before or since. Street prostitutes were being picked up by an unknown man and ripped to pieces before being left in the streets. To this day, the mystery of Jack the Ripper still intrigues and mystifies millions around the world. 

In this very dark ESL lesson strictly for adults, students will learn more about Jack the Ripper, what it was like to live in London in Victorian times and have their English lesson venture into the macbre. A real twist on the normal English lesson!

To buy the Jack the Ripper DVD to go with this ESL movie plan click here

You have a choice of ways to go with this compelling Jack the Ripper lesson. There is a Jack the Ripper reading comprehension exercise for your adult students as well as some macabre creative writing activites, one where students write a gory letter to police and the newspapers, and another where students write a newspaper article about recent Jack the Ripper murders in Whitechapel, London. A third activity is where your ESL students design their own Police Wanted Poster bearing the face and crimes of the bloody killer.

Finally, there is a gruesome Jack the Ripper ESL roleplay, where adult students can play Jack the Ripper himself, eyewitnesses, publicans, prostitutes, police, journalists and other Victorian London vagabonds! Great for Halloween!

I hope you enjoy this very cool and very sinister ESL lesson about Jack the Ripper!

Written by Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons
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