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Getting the level right

One of my friends asked me to put together a book quiz for a party over the Christmas period. It was great fun to create and everyone seemed to enjoy taking part, but it raised one of the issues that teachers, especially EFL teachers, face all the time – trying to get the level right so that students of varying ability can all benefit.

The group of friends I was aiming at was pretty typical; a couple of voracious readers, some fans of the classics, several who just read bestsellers and one or two who occasionally pick up a magazine. My attempt last year fell pretty flat because I hadn’t realized this broad difference in reading interest, and what I produced was much too ‘literary‘. So this year I went for a mix of literary and mass-market fiction, plus a few that you could get even if you’d only seen the film version of the book. It worked very well, and everyone got really involved, which just confirms the importance of knowing your audience and taking the time to tailor your lessons accordingly.

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Sharon Creese

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