(NB. The numbers in square brackets refer to notes in the Commentary.)

Approx. timing


Support Mats


A Reading Class. [2]

a) Divide the class into small groups.
b) Present the context (Why read?)

You all work in a Film Production Office and your job is to find stories that could possibly be made into films. Someone has shown you the newspaper article I am going to give you and you now have to see if you can use it to create an interesting film story.

c) Hand out the article to the groups.

d) The groups read the article and:

1. write down everything they know for certain about the mysterious man?
2. write down everything they would like to know about the man.

The Piano Man Text.


Each group joins with another group and compares notes.


Whole class session.

A chance for students to ask questions about words and expressions.


Back in original working groups.

Each group must now create the outline of a story that could be made into a film based on the article about The Piano Man.

It’s not necessary to use all the details in the story – filmmakers are always selective with the facts – but there should be a satisfactory end to the story.

If necessary provide these prompt questions (on the board):
  • How did the man get to the road by the beach?
  • Why was he wet?
  • Why was there a small bloodstain on his shirt?
  • Who was Maria?
  • Could he really not talk or was he pretending?
  • Who was he?
  • What happened to him?
  • How do you think the story should end?


Allow enough time this session or at the beginning of the next for each group to present their story to the rest of the class.




(If necessary, finish the story presentations begun before the break.)

In groups, the students think about the lesson they have just had and write out the lesson plan. [3]

Feedback: discuss and agree on the lesson plan.


Discuss these questions in groups:
  • What was the aim of the lesson?
  • What did you get out of the lesson as students?
  • What did you get out of the lesson as teachers?

Feedback discussion. [4]


Now go through the lesson plan focusing on key elements. This is an interactive presentation. Present each question, one at a time, give the course participants time to think about and discuss possible answers and then take feedback and list responses on the board.[5]
  1. Choice of text: what things do people read? [6]
  2. Reasons for reading: why do people read? [7]
  3. Reasons for writing: why do people write? [8]
  4. Ways of reading: how do people read? [9]
  5. After reading: what are the results of reading? [10]

The Piano Man Lesson Plan.




How did the lesson this morning differ from the typical EFL reading lesson? In groups discuss and describe a typical reading lesson that they are used to. [11]

Feedback discussion. From the various descriptions, propose a very general distinction between the fairly widespread traditional Linguistic approach and a more Communicative approach.

Use the Handling Texts handout. [12]

Handling Texts 1 and 2


Present the idea of a text having a “Communicative Profile” which provides a checklist for constructing an effective reading lesson. [13]

On Board:
  • Text type
  • Reason for writing
  • Reason for reading
  • How to read
  • Results of reading


Group exercise. [14]

Give to each group three or four texts of clearly different types.

The group must agree on a “Communicative Profile” for each text, i.e. answer these questions:
  • What is the text type?
  • Why might it have been written?
  • Why might somebody read it?
  • How might they read it?
  • What are possible results of having read it?

Feedback and discuss results to end of session.

Example Texts

Workshop [15]

You will need to allocate another afternoon session if you want to include a productive materials workshop.

You will need the Reading Tasks Workshop handout and a selection of appropriate texts; preferably authentic and of varying types. Either give each group a different text to work on or give a choice of not more than two texts per group to choose from. Allow enough time for groups to display their lesson plans and look at other groups’ work.

Workshop Tasks