Using the Internet to Teach Reading
by Jeff Lebow

September 12, 2013

Computer Assisted Language Learning: LearningCall.net
Personal Site: JeffLebow.net

Presentation Materials: JeffLebow.net/node/317
     (includes a linked version of this handout, presentation slides, and an audio recording)

Core Questions:

How can the Internet can be used to teach reading?

  Uses range from simply finding and printing high-interest materials for students to read in class to managing a tablet-enabled class in which students are interacting online and engaging with customized content while learning at their own pace.  This presentation will attempt to cover the spectrum of possibilities.

The Three F’s of using Technology in Education:  Flexible, Familiar, Frequent

For technology to be successfully used in the classroom, it has to be….

...flexible enough adjust to changing curricular needs, teaching styles, and student levels.

...familiar enough to learners and educators that the effort to learn how to use it is worth it.

…and frequent enough to make it a seamless part of teaching and learning habits.

What are the potential advantages of using the internet to teach reading?

What are the potential challenges and obstacles?

ONLINE RESOURCES

Reading Portals

Read Write Think   http://www.readwritethink.org
Skimming and Scanning Skills with Internet Bingo

Free lesson plans and materials provided by the International Reading Association.  You can search for materials by keyword, grade level, and resource type. They also provide a variety of materials on reading-related professional development.

Reading A-Z   http://www.readinga-z.com/

Popular in American Classrooms. More than 1000 leveled books (27 levels), multiple genres, comes with worksheets, flashcards, supplemental materials.  $100/classroom, but provides a sample of free materials.

English reading from EnglishClub.com  http://www.englishclub.com/reading/

A reading portal that includes articles on reading strategies,  reading level tests,  links to free books, level based readings with pre-reading vocabulary and post-reading quizzes.

Reading Rockets  http://www.readingrockets.org

From a U.S. public television station, resources about teaching reading., author Interviews, and  themed booklists.

StarFall.com   http://www.starfall.com/

Excellent resource for younger students learning to read, but most content is too childish for middle schoolers.


Sources of Reading Materials - Assorted Literature

BooksShouldbeFree.com  http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/

makes the world's public domain audio books available for browsing in a visual and entertaining way.

ReadPrint   http://www.readprint.com

Thousands of of classics online - some free, some not. Site also includes reading groups, discussions, and reviews.

The Literature Network  http://www.literature.org/

Mostly old classics, but some books by H.G. Wells, Henry O. and Jonathon Swift might be age-appropriate.  Some books also include quizzes and discussions.

The Online Books Page  http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/

Project Gutenberg Children  http://gutenberg.org/wiki/Category:Children%27s_Bookshelf
Fighting the Whales
More than 1,000,000 books available, but many are old or not age-appropriate.

Booksie Young Adult Section http://www.booksie.com/young_adult

A different Twilight and a different Bella

40,000+ plus short stories, novels, and essays written and published by users.  Other users can comment on stories (which usually includes very authentic teenage language)

Wacky Web Tales http://www.eduplace.com/tales/

Dozens of stories for use as ‘Mad Libs’. Good part of speech practice.

Reading Materials - Storybooks and Read Aloud

International Children’s Digital Library   ChildrensLibrary.org
The Alien

1000’s of children’s books from around the world , sortable by age level and book type.

Story Online   Storylineonline.net

Videos of famous people reading storybooks. Includes printable handouts with activities, but not the original text of the books.

FreeKidsBooks   Freekidsbooks.org    Free downloadable storybooks.

StoryBird    Storybird.com

Seven Ways to Survive School

Allows users to make their own visual stories using contributed illustrations. Thousands of user generated stories to read and discuss.


Children’s Storybooks Online    Magickeys.com/books

Illustrated books sorted by level (young children, older children, young adults)

Tarhell Reader    Tarheelreader.org

Hundreds of easy-to-read  user-generated books illustrated by using Flickr photos.

Archive.org Children's Library   http://archive.org/details/iacl

Thousands of copyright-free children’s books in a variety of formats (e.g.pdf, mobi, html).

List of Children's Books for Reading  http://www.techsupportalert.com/free-books-children

Links to many sources of free children’s books and reading material

ESLFast   http://www.eslfast.com/
A collection of 365 short stories for language learners. Each story include a slowly read audio and there are also quiz and dictation activities for each story. .

Repeat after Us - Online Library and Language Lab

An assortment of stories, poems, and tongue twisters - some with audio recordings.

American ESL Folklore   http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/esl-reading/

A few dozen American folk tales retold within several basic easy-reading paragraphs.

EastoftheWeb Children’s Short Stories -

Book Reviews, Recommendations, and Discussions

TeenReads.com http://www.teenreads.com/reviews

KidsReads.com  http://www.kidsreads.com/reviews

Affiliated sites that provide book reviews, author interviews, and reading lists.

GoodReads: http://goodreads.com/     http://www.goodreads.com/genres/childrens

Reviews, recommendations, ‘best of’ lists,  and discussions of recent books

Sources of Reading Materials - articles and news stories

FreeESLMaterials.com   http://www.freeeslmaterials.com/sean_banville_lessons.html

Eight different sites (e.g. BreakingNewsEnglish.comfamouspeoplelessons.com, and lessonmovies.com) that have thousands of lessons on a variety of topics.  Each is based on a short text and provides a variety of print-ready activities and sometimes audio recordings.

BBC Learning English  http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/

BBC news stories with activities and downloadable materials and audio

 

CNN Student News  http://edition.cnn.com/studentnews/

Daily subtitled video news with a transcript and teaching materials.

ManyThings Reading    http://www.manythings.org/

Hundreds of short readings (many from Voice of America) with audio recordings. Also includes a large collection of jokes.


Sources of high-interest authentic reading materials for adolescents

Seventeen magazine    http://www.seventeen.com/

Fashion, Beauty, and Celebrity articles aimed at teen girls

Teen Ink    http://www.teenink.com/

Fiction and non-fiction writings by teens for teens

Discovery Girls    http://discoverygirls.com

Tween Insecurities

Aimed at tween girls. Main magazine unavailable online, but blog posts and discussions are.

Girls Life   http://www.girlslife.com/

AImed at teen girls - full text of stories on style, health, advice, entertainments, and fun. Some content might be to ‘adult’ for middle school students

Boy’s Life   http://boyslife.org/
How to build a ship in a bottle

Originally a scouting oriented magazine.  Includes video game reviews, jokes, and blogs.

National Geographic Kids  http://kids.nationalgeographic.com
Tigers Cuddle with Apes

Print-friendly materials on countries, animals, and science.  The site also has a variety of videos, games, puzzles, and photo activities.  

Ranger Rick   http://www.nwf.org/Kids/Ranger-Rick.aspx

Produced by National Wildlife Federation.  Many animal-related articles and some comic style stories.  The site also includes games and print-ready handouts, posters, and activities.

Kidlink   http://www.kidlink.org/

Students from around the world meet to talk about issues, present their ideas, and respond to other children. This site also includes a chat forum with live message exchange.

Comics

Kidjutsu, Comics for Kids  http://www.kidjutsu.com/browse/comic

Free comics sorted by type and age level

Batoto  http://www.batoto.net

 Dr. Frost   Comic    Discussion

International comics translated into different languages (mostly English)

Comixology   http://comixology.com

Large selection of comics for sale, but with a decent selection of free ones which change weekly. Some might not be appropriate for middle schoolers.


Newsarama Free Comics http://newsarama.com/topics/free-online-comic-books/

Korea-related Materials

Allkpop   http://www.allkpop.com

Short articles about Kpop in English

KppStarz    http://www.kpopstarz.com/
Short Kpop articles and musician profiles

Soompi   http://www.soompi.com/

Master’s Sun Recap   Goo Hye Sun Discussion

Kpop celebrity news and very active discussion forums

24-7Kpop    http://24-7kpop.com/

Includes Kpop news, event reports, and current event stories

Kpop Lyrics    http://www.kpoplyrics.net

Afterschool Heaven

Kpop lyrics romanized and translated into English, along with some Kpop news stories

Popgasa.com   http://popgasa.com/
English lyrics for Kpop songs

Withs2.com   http://withs2.com/

English Subtitles (.srt files) for Korean movies and TV shows

Korean Culture in English  http://culturebridges.net/2012/07/korean-culture-in-english.html

English Language Bloggers in Korea

http://koreabridge.net/blogs   Why Korean Food is so Great

http://www.koreablogs.net/

http://www.rok-on.net/korean-blog-list/

English Discussions about life in Korea

Waygook.org  http://www.waygook.org/index.php?action=forum

Transcripts, Subtitles, & Lyrics

Sites that contain lyrics for thousands of popular English songs
A-Z Lyrics  
http://www.azlyrics.com

Song Lyrics http://www.songlyrics.com

Lyric Training (interactive with music videos  http://www.lyricstraining.com/

Transcripts for English Movies & TV Shows

Simply Scripts  http://www.simplyscripts.com/

Internet Movie Script Database  http://www.imsdb.com/

Movie Scripts & Screenlays http://www.moviescriptsandscreenplays.com/

Sites where you can download .srt files (subtitles) for English movies & TV Shows

TV Subtitles Tvsubtitles.net 

Allsubs.org Allsubs.org 

OpenSubtitles  OpenSubtitles.org   (Korean Subtitles)  

Subtitle Seeker SubTitleSeeker

Extensive Reading

ER Central    http://er-central.com/

Dedicated to developing an Extensive Reading and Extensive Listening approach to foreign and second language learning. Lots of potential resources - many still ‘coming soon’.

Rob Waring’s ER Page    http://www.robwaring.org/er/

A variety of resources and explanations of What, How, and Why of ER

Extensive Reading Foundation    http://erfoundation.org/

Graded reader lists, Yearly awards, professional organization information

Korean English Extensive Reading Association (KEERA)   http://keera.or.kr/

Bilingual site that  fosters learning and academic excellence by working with members, institutions, and individuals to create a safe, fulfilling, and academically enriching environment for Extensive English reading education in Korea.

Online level tests from different publishers.
Oxford  
http://elt.oup.com/student/bookwormsleveltest

Macmillan  http://www.macmillanreaders.com/tests/level-test
Cambridge
http://cdextras.cambridge.org/Readers/RPT_last.swf

Ace Reader’s Free Reading Test  http://www.freereadingtest.com/

Book Report Forms

Assorted Tools for Teaching Reading

Screen Readers  List of options at: http://usabilitygeek.com/10-free-screen-reader-blind-visually-impaired-users/
Speakit: Chrome Extension
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/speakit/pgeolalilifpodheeocdmbhehgnkkbak?hl=en

Dictionary Extensions  Google Dictionary

These can be useful for quickly checking the

meaning and pronunciation of words online.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-dictionary-by-goog/mgijmajocgfcbeboacabfgobmjgjcoja?hl=en

Other Options
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-chrome-extensions-lookup-words-meanings-browse/

Online HIghlighters
Diigo  
http://Diigo.com   (browser plugins: https://www.diigo.com/tools/ )
An excellent social bookmarking tool that allows you to bookmark sites online, highlight certain sections, and add sticky notes. Diigo Search for reading+efl links:
https://diigo.com/search?adSScope=community&what=reading%2Befl

Standalone Chrome Extensions

Simple Highlighter: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/simple-highlighter/
Yellow Highlighter Pen:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/yellow-highlighter-pen-fo/

Reference

UsingEnglish  http://usingenglish.com

Tremendous resource for reference, asking language questions, and printable handouts.

Wordcount http://www.wordcount.org/main.php

Tells how common a word is based on the British National Corpus.


Google Translate
http://translate.google.com
Aside from translation, provides authentic usage examples from the web, pronunciation, and a saveable phrasebook.

Visual Thesaurus http://www.visualthesaurus.com/app/view

Provides a graphic representation of how words are related and provides nuanced definitions.

Lexipedia http://www.lexipedia.com/
SImilar style to Visual Thesaurus

Simple Wikipedia
http://simple.wikipedia.org/

100,000+ articles that use a more basic level of English. easier sentence structure, and more limited vocabulary

Assorted  Sites and Tools not specifically related to reading

Quizlet  
http://quizlet.com

Mobile friendly, make-your-own  flashcard site with thousands of existing sets. Automatically creates learning activities, games,and quizzes from the sets.


Voki  
http://voki.com 

Speech-to-text animation.  Users can choose a character design and either type what they want the character to say or record the audio.  

ELLLO (English Listening Laboratory Online) http://elllo.org/

Naomi    Invest

Provides audio and video of people having authentic English conversations. Recordings include a transcript and activities for vocabulary development and comprehension.

Real English  http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp

On the street interviews with native English speakers. Each video comes with a transcript and learning activities.

Professional Development Communities

Facebook Groups -  All Things English    ESL/EFL World   EFL Teachers Kit ELT Cinema    ELT Diary  ELT Action Research   ELTPics  ELTChat  British Council 

Google+ Communities:  ELT  Better English  Learning2gether 

LinkedIn - ELT Professionals Around The World  (Discussion List)    Teachers of English 

Diigo Groups:  Language Learning and Technology Cool Tools & Ed Tech 

ELT Online Reading Group  Koreatesol.org   EFLClassroom 2.0     Webheadsinaction.org    Englishcompanion.ning.com/

Mobile Tools & Resources

Amazon Free Downloads  http://www.amazon.com/

Search Amazon’s kindle store for terms like ‘young adults’, ‘teen books’, ‘children’s literature’, or a specific title or genre. Then sort by ‘Price: Low to High’. You will need to set up an Amazon account, but once you have done so, you can download the Kindle file (.azw) to your computer. You can then use a program like Calibre (http://calibre-ebook.com/) to view the book or convert it to a pdf or other mobile formats.  You can also convert the tile to simple text, if you’d like to use that for presentation materials.

Apps

K12 Timed Reading Practice Lite
http://www.ifreeware.net/download-k12-timed-reading-practice-lite.html

The free version  comes 25 short stories that can be used to assess the students reading fluency and comprehension. Premium versions ($2~$4) includes 250+ stories.  

Comic Strips https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.freecomicstrips

Hundreds of comic strips viewable on a mobile device.

Comicology
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iconology.comics

Reading Bee ESL English
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.readingbee.studiointii
Uses readings on
 current events, science, health, economics, US history

ESL Reading Comprehension https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/esl-reading-comprehension/

Level-based reading comprehension activities


Questions, Comments, Site Suggestions


Below, please post any questions, comments, or suggestions (site or tools) related to using the Internet for Teaching Reading.