Monday, August 31, 2009

Reading Comprehension, When You Can't Understand The Language

A few years ago, I was part of an EFL remedial program called, Successo.  Its aim was to teach "survival-like" reading comprehension skills to Israeli high school students, so they would pass the "Bagrut," national finals.

I enjoyed the program very much for three reasons:
  1. A good friend was mentoring me.
  2. I had an assistant who was fantastic, a better teacher than myself, but since she was the student, I was the head teacher.
  3. The program is excellent.
The introduction/first lesson consisted of showing a couple of writing samples to the group.  They were written in letters we didn't know/recognize.  From the grapics, we had to guess what was written.

One was an envelope and the second a wedding invitation.  We had to train ourselves to "think out of the box" and stop trying to figure out the words, just the general message.  It wasn't that hard.  There are internationally accepted customs of where you write the "to" and "from" on an envelope.  And a classic wedding invitation is also pretty easy to pick out the names of the bride, groom, parents, the date, time etc without being able to read anything.

Why this post?  Well, I'm on Twoozer, the Jewish Twitter, and I'm having trouble with the bilingual log-in.  All the Hebrew appears gibberish.  I have to "guess" where my username and password go when I sign in, just like that Successo lesson.


Anonymous said...

Great first lesson. I wish I had this sort of material. It is always interesting to show the students that they can understand more than they first think.

Batya said...

You can do it up on the computer by either finding an image of an addressed envelope or invitation in a type of letters the kids won't recognize, or type something like that on the computer and use gibberish letters.