The Internet is an excellent source of authentic reading material. I took the article in the file below from Newsweek magazine.

You can start a reading lesson with a Wordle like this one below:

Wordle: Sleep

This is an excellent way to activate vocabulary and to predict what the learners are going to hear.

You can take an extract from the article to use as a dictogloss. For example the following extract demonstrates a range of verb tenses and several numbers so allows the learners to practise many different aspects of authentic language:

“Adults typically need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel fully rested and function at their best. However, Americans are getting less sleep than they did in the past. A 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll found that Americans averaged 6.9 hours of sleep per night, which represents a drop of about two hours per night since the 19th century, one hour per night over the past 50 years, and about 15 to 25 minutes per night just since 2001.”

Learners can work in pairs to complete the passage based on the dictagloss. After these activities the learners have enough information about the article for a discussion on their own sleeping habits and what the research shows.

Newsweek Article Sleep Dec2010

The learners can either be given a copy of the article or directed to the website to read the article online as follow up. It is a useful article for identifying topic sentences and working out the meaning of new vocabulary from context.

What other activities could you do based on this material?

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