Read, listen & learn a littleEnglish

Do you ever get bored with the ‘Hi. How was your weekend?’ scenario at the beginning of every lesson?

I do.

That’s why I started asking my learners to show up, armed with a piece of interesting news to talk about.  I soon realised that learners are busy people and attention spans are shrinking.  I wrote Tiny Texts so they would have no excuse.  I hope you find them useful too.

Here are ten tips for using tiny texts in and out of the classroom.  Let me know if you have any other ideas.

  1. Ask your learners to read and listen to a Tiny Text each week for homework.  It will only take 2 minutes. They will then come to your lessons with something to say and with some new vocabulary up their sleeves.
  2. Do the takeaway test as a classroom activity.  Cover the key words but help them out by providing the definitions if they get stuck.
  3. Subscribe to the itunes podcast and have tiny texts delivered to your ipod/laptop.  This will allow you to use the audio as a listening activity in class.  Just click on the itunes button here:
  4. Use the takeaway test as a listening gap-fill,  ie. students listen to the audio and fill in the gaps.
  5. Have your students prepare one or two conversation questions related to a  tiny text to spark off a lively class discussion.  (I hope to offer a pdf of classroom activities soon.)
  6. Email each student in your class a link to a different tiny text.  Pair them up at the beginning of the lesson and ask them to tell their partner what they understood and what vocabulary they learned.  You could even mix up the pairs and repeat.  (You’ll fill a whole lesson if you have enough students).  Correct mistakes at the end of each session and their reports should be perfect by the end.
  7. For more advanced students, get them to use the tiny text as a starting point to research the topic in more detail (there are links to related articles at the bottom of each post).
  8. Assign a tiny text for homework and start the lesson by giving one of the vocabulary items to each student who then explains the meaning of his/her word in English and the other students guess the word.  Try the Tiny Texts Vocab Challenge Cards!
  9. Get students to practice reading a tiny text aloud.  Record them, play it back, work on intonation and pronunciation and then record again.
  10. As an end-of-lesson cooler, have a competition to see who (or which pair) can best sum up a tiny text in exactly 7, 10, 11, or even 3 words.  I don’t know if this is possible, but it could be fun to try.

I would love to hear how you get on!


P.s.  Click the ‘follow the blog’ link on the sidebar and new posts will be sent automatically by email.

22 Comment(s)

  1. Anonymous

    September 18, 2012 at 11:15 am

    its amazing and you have definately made my job easier by providing such valuable things god bless you…

  2. Harry

    September 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Hi, Tiny Text in English!!
    I really like that idea Tiny Text reading and listen because i think it’s not bothering anybody to read and listen. It’s very useful resource…
    god bless…

  3. iza

    October 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Great ideas! I love it.

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  7. Jane

    March 31, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Tiny Texts,

    thanks for your very useful and attractive material for my classes. I admire your short texts idea and the design of the whole page/blog.

    We start every class with my students´s “eavesdropping” activity – they are asked to present a language unit they have come across while reading or listening to authentic texts – and I think I will recommend them your blog 🙂

    Wish you a lot of other followers and helpers with the audio part 🙂


      June 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Hello, Anette,
      I completely agree with Jane. My classes have improved a lot thanks to your tiny texts, but full of contents. The texts are concise and interesting. Thanks a lot.

  8. Anonymous

    August 31, 2013 at 8:51 am

    than for tinytext can help me to improve my english

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  12. neil scarth

    October 16, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Just want to say thank you and that this site is a valuable resource for teachers like me- most shortened or simplified texts for learners seem to lose something of the feel of a real story and offer little intrinsic interest, whereas these are real and complete texts , just tinier ! I also dream of having access to plenty of more short literary pieces like mini-sagas, very short stories, thought provoking diary entries or school reports of famous people, mysterious postcards from distant places, witty fridge notes (perhaps suggesting a domestic drama) etc . (I once had access to Alan Maley’s ‘Short and Sweet’ which has many of the above types of text but haven’t found it for years) ..

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  15. mohamed

    March 16, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Mohamed from medea
    well it’s ashort time now that i discovered this blog. really it’s fully a help for students
    already most of my pupils know it .they read and listen n they have it as a+.wish you the
    best, truelly.

  16. marcianovo

    May 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Your blog came to me right on time! Students nowadays are curios, modern and quick. Your articles are just what they need. And the different accents! Great chalenge! Tks a lot Annette. Marcia from B
    razil, São Paulo!

  17. galina

    January 26, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Where I can find vocards&

  18. Daria Korol

    February 29, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Very helpful
    Thank you so much!

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