This is one of those websites that makes me grit my teeth; unfortunately for me, not all my students like the chaotic creativity that I do. For my exceedingly pragmatic class, I needed a straight-forward (read: positively medieval) reading site. I found one.
K12 Reader has all those things that no-nonsense people like: word lists, phonics, grammar, and rather unexciting reading passages with comprehension questions. Grade One focuses on phonics and letter blends; the other grades focus on scientific and math vocabulary (and get rather in-depth by Grade 4). The writing prompts are very clear, logical prompts that are used in the English classes in China: they’re also very good for oral speech prompts, to prepare for a GESE or the like.
If your students are looking for something basic, ordinary and straight-forward, this is the place to find it. The site would be excellent for beginner classes, students with certain learning disabilities, or those who just don’t want anything too way-out-there at such a late hour of the evening.
English for Everyone has a great reading comprehension section. You can choose from grade-level readings or from the ability level section.
These texts have no images, so they’re a great way to test your students’ reading comprehension. You can use the questions at the end of the texts.
The stories in the Beginner level are perfect for our school, as are the low-Intermediate stories. By mid-intermediate, some of the stories are dealing with adult situations (a mortgage payment due the next day) which most of our students won’t be able to connect with. The Advanced level is almost entirely for adult classes.
If you need free worksheets for your students, you can find them from the main English for Everyone page.
Houghton Mifflin Eduplace
I’ve been using this with my level 1 class. It’s easier than the wordsearch on the Hangmouse website (none of the words are backwards), and each level has 20+ units. Makes for handy wordlists.
They also have a spelling match game and (though I haven’t used it yet) power proofreading.
I love having lunch with you guys…
Here are some of the websites that were mentioned yesterday:
North Pole (a Christmas site)
We were also talking about the music the kids like. If you can get videos to work, you can play these things on YouTube; if not, you can just help them understand the lyrics. If they know the song, even just reading the lyrics will help them with syntax, etc.
Michael Jackson – Kids of all ages listen to him: he’s a musical deity in China. Try the popular ones like Thriller, Beat It, Man In The Mirror.
Avril Lavigne – Teenagers like her (but be careful with some of her lyrics). Alice is a safe bet.
Justin Bieber – if you have a girl in your class, she’s probably a Belieber. The boys like him, too. Try Baby, Eenie Meenie and Never Let You Go.
Thousand Foot Krutch – they’re not overly popular in China, but one of my students got into them, and now the whole class likes them. They’re a Christian group, so a couple of the songs might have one-too-many references to God but there’s nothing otherwise offensive. Try Art of Breaking.
For those times when the students just aren’t getting a grammar point through their little heads, or when half of them have laryngitis and can’t talk. And, it’s free. 🙂