Backwards reading exercise
Today is ‘backwards day’, which reminds me of an English teaching activity that I love to use….. backwards reading exercises.
You might be thinking ‘what value can you get from reading something backwards?’ Great question!
The value comes when you expose teachers to how difficult it is to read and understand something when you are trying to work out what the word is. Although it seems a little simplistic, learners who are not secure in their reading and interpretation skills really struggle to make sense of texts, even simple ones. Which will then make it difficult for them to determine things like opinion and bias, look for language features and interpret inferred meanings, skills that are required at higher levels of Functional English.
Understanding the challenges some learners face, on a basic level, can really help to make the point about learners needing to be confident with basic reading skills before they can progress to higher levels.
If you have never tried to read something backwards, you can download one of the texts I love to use here, and let me know your thoughts.
Christine Edwards QTLS
Try This Backwards Reading Test
dilos dna suorbif neewteb esoohc ot uoy swolla esruoc level decnavda sihT
eth fo noitacilppa dna noitallatsni eht ni slliks poleved lliw ouY .gniretsalp
ytefas and htlaeh lla ot gnimrofnoc tslihw, dohtem gniretsalp tnaveler
.esruoc siht fo trap yek a era TCI dna shtam ,hsilgnE ni slliks lanoitcnuF
tes yllanretxe na dna krowesruoc ,krow lacitcarp no desab si tnemssessA
2 level eht deen uoy :stnemeriuqer yrtnE .noitanimaxe esruoc-of-dne
.ecneirepxe krow tnaveler s’raey eerht tsael ta ro gniretsalP ni amolpiD
edarg a tsael ta dna shtam ro hsilngE ni C – A* edarg a deen olsa lliw uoY
.weivretni na dna ,rehto eht ni D
I have been doing some research around a concept called the ‘Picture Superiority Effect, and connecting the information I have collected to the current movement, around making online and PowerPoint presentations more interesting and engaging.
It is clear that differences are needed for online learning when compared to face to face, but there are some key factors that make perfect sense and are worth serious consideration for any form of presentation.
As the image above shows, it is much easier to see and digest information when we have a visual representation, which is a technique I have used a lot in my face to face teaching with things like the fraction wall (posted a couple of weeks ago) and the Bar Model of teaching ratio, something I will cover in the future.
There are some key points to support the effectiveness of using images and pictures that are worth considering:
- The image needs to be relevant to the text
- Simple images are better than complex ones
- Charts and graphs count as images
- The images should grab attention, so colour and motion are useful
- Objects that people remember most include; people, interiors, foregrounds and human-scale objects
- Objects that people remember less well include; exteriors, wide-angle vistas, backgrounds and natural scenes.
Out of interest, I showed someone a PowerPoint that I have updated to include more imagery. The result was really surprising, I quickly flashed a few slides from each presentation and the immediate response was the colour difference and a direct connection with some of the images on the updated version, compared to nothing from the original text-heavy presentation.
What has also surprised me is how much I have enjoyed creating a presentation that is more visually appealing, even though it contains pretty much the same information as before.
So I guess it follows that if I find it more interesting then my audience is bound to as well! A no brainer I guess.
Of course, you need to be careful that the images you use are not owned by someone else, but there are lots of places you can find free images, or just create your own!
So why does this approach work as well as it does, well the research says that it is down to the way my brains work. When we see words, we need to decode each letter to form the word and work out the meaning, so there is quite a lot of work going on.
And, the ‘word’ is then stored in my memory. But when we see a picture, we naturally attach a word to the image, so we have both in my memory, which is why the science says we remember more.
When I think about how I learnt to read, then there is loads of imagery to help me to build my vocabulary.
A while ago, I heard a story, I can’t remember where, about a little girl who was learning to read and she had learnt ‘cat’, which she matched with the image of their cat at home.
On her way home from school she went past a building site where she saw a huge machine which said ‘CAT’ on the side, this confused her, because the truck didn’t match the image she held of her cat, at home.
Images are powerful things, just ask the Dale Carnegie training team about their memory technique.
They deliver an amazing process for remembering things, all attached to simple words and images.
I learnt the technique when I trained with them over 20 years ago, and I can remember it to this day!
It has also been proven that we have become so used to looking at screens, such as the TV, my level of concentration is greater and we retain more.
It, therefore, follows that if I was to deliver a training session live to one group, and the same session was recorded and shown to a different group, the recorded session group would retain more information.
Which I guess strengthens the case even more for online delivery.
So, in closing, so do I believe that imagery is a key factor when presenting information, absolutely!
I also believe that online/ virtual learning will become a much more integral and important part of learning in the post 16 sectors, it makes sense on so many levels.
But, it is vital that the training is engaging, as well as relevant and informative. I have certainly started to rethink the way I prepare and present information.
Christine Edwards QTLS, Creating Excellence
Maths & English: Effective Target Setting
Category: Planning maths and English learning
Are the targets set around maths, English and the use of technology as effective for learners as they could be?
Do you feel that learners take ownership of their progress and achievement?
If the answer is NO to either question ….. then this free, live, bite-sized training could be just the thing to help better understand some of the concepts that support effective target setting.
In this live and interactive bite-sized training, Christine Edwards QTLS will cover some of the core considerations that support the process of excellent target setting and share some key techniques that will help to improve practice and add value for learners.
This bite-sized, live, interactive training is aimed at colleges, training providers and organisations delivering apprenticeships who feel the way that targets set for maths, English and the use of technology does not fully embrace purposeful vocational programme integration.
It is suitable for Curriculum/ Quality managers/ Subject Leads/Educators/ Mentors/Coaches, who recognise that target setting could be more effective and support the learner’s development to a higher level of independence in the core areas of maths, English and technology use.
The 30-minute introductory webinar will cover:
- Target setting concepts and misconceptions
- Effective target setting strategies and techniques
- Adding value for learners
Date: Monday, 30th November 2020.
Time: 9.30 – 10.00 am
To book your free place, please click here on my Contact Me form.