Session 1D
Title: Book Club Café: Recipe for Extensive Reading

One of the biggest challenges faced by language teachers is to find effective ways to help students to understand, remember and produce enough words to communicate successfully. Considerable research indicates that extensive reading is a powerful tool in accelerating this process. However, many students are weak or reluctant readers, who may lack the motivation to read and the skills to select appropriate, engaging reading material. At MQELC, we are exploring practical ways to improve learners’ vocabulary through free extensive reading and by using a variety of online resources which can be brought into the classroom in a number of creative ways. ‘Book Club Cafe’ was established as a starting point whereby students come to enjoy reading in a relaxed and supportive environment. Utilising several online tools, we have developed a sustainable system which can be adapted to suit the needs of students at all levels and from all backgrounds.

Reading texts are accessed online from home, and teachers can easily track the number of words and texts which students have read while also recording the time students spend reading. Students identify their reading level online and develop greater autonomy when making an informed selection of reading material. They can also take online quizzes based on their individual choice of reading material. Teachers use this input to develop a range of creative classroom activities, including peer teaching and theatre sports, during our book club cafe sessions.

In this presentation, we will provide the recipe for a successful Book Club Café!

Jose Lara and Lesley Speer have taught at MQELC for over seven years. They have collaborated on a number of projects, including the development of language courses for the Dept. of Linguistics at Macquarie University.

Jose has a Master of Applied Linguistics (TESOL) and a Master in Translation and Interpreting, while Lesley has an MA, DipEd and Post–graduate diploma in TESOL. Lesley has presented at two IATEFL conferences and will facilitate the forum on extensive reading at IATEFL Manchester 2015. Both are particularly interested in using technology to motivate learners and in finding innovative ways to develop language skills.