The students have finished reading something. Now what? Is there a way to make this activity more useful and helpful for improving your reading skills? That’s where post-reading activities can come in. Keep on reading for the best after reading activity ideas to try out in your ESL/EFL/TEFL classes.
Keep reading for some post-reading activities that can help take your reading ability to the next level. Are you ready? Let’s get to the ideas for what you can do after reading to improve reading skills with these postreading activities!
Top 10 Post-Reading Activities to Improve English Reading Skills
It’s not over ‘til it’s over. Once you have read a text, you may feel like you are done, but if you want to get the most out of it, there are a few different activities you can do.
There are a few different exercises you can do. For the answers, there are two different options.
You can write your answers, but if you are short on time, you do not have to. Say them out loud to yourself, or to your study partner.
In fact, we’d love it if you had a study partner. This can really help you improve your skills in a big way and is a lot more interesting and motivating too.
#1: Think About the Characters more Deeply
If you are reading fiction, here are some ideas to think about the characters more deeply. This will help you understand the text as well as predict in future reading.
- Make a fact file about the main character. Some information you can include: appearance (What colour eyes does the character have? Hair? Is their hair curly, wavy, or straight? Long or short? Is the character tall or short? How old is the character? Who is in their family?
- Compare and contrast two main characters in the story. How are they the same? How are they different?
- Think of a situation that is not in the book. What would the main character do in that situation? Why do you think so?
- Usually, the main character in a story changes in some way by the end. How did the main character in the story you have just read change? How were they at the beginning? What was different at the end? What caused them to change?
- Consider one scene from a different character’s point of view. In English, we say every fight has three sides: your version, my version, and the truth. This is because all of us see the same event in different ways.
#2: Think about the Plot More Carefully
Thinking about the plot more carefully will also improve your reading comprehension skills. Here are some ideas to help you consider the storyline more deeply.
- Make a timeline of important events in the story. How does one event lead to another?
- Where does the action occur? Make a list of important locations in the story. Would the story be the same in any location? Why or why not?
- When you read a book in English, write a review on Goodreads or Amazon. Let the world know what you thought of the book.
- Make a summary of what you read in 3-4 sentences (either writing or speaking out loud to yourself)
- Pretend you are the character in the story. Write a postcard from a certain point in time to another character.
- Draw a map of the book’s setting
- Create a poem about a book or story character.
- Write a diary entry as if you were a person in the story.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 88 Pages - 02/16/2020 (Publication Date)
#3: After Reading Activities with a Study Partner
If you have a study partner, there are some additional things you can after reading something. You could do any of the following:
- Ask each other comprehension questions
- Give a summary to your partner about what you read
- Find examples of various parts of speech together
- Talk about your opinion of what you read
- Discuss whether you enjoyed reading it, and why or why not
- State the most important sentence and why
- Can you find any examples of similes, metaphors, foreshadowing, etc.?
- If it’s non-fiction, you could work together to find the thesis statement, topic sentences, etc.
#4: Reading to Improve Grammar and Vocabulary
Of course, you can use reading to improve your grammar and vocabulary. As you read, circle or highlight any unfamiliar words. Use context clues to help you guess the meaning as you read. When you are finished reading for the day, add these words to your personal dictionary along with their definitions.
#5: Do Reading Comprehension Questions
There are a number of different websites (Google ESL reading practice) that have various levels of reading, along with comprehension questions and quizzes to test how well you read.
Whenever possible, be sure to take a look at the questions you’ll have to answer before reading so that you know what to look for. But, don’t do this every single time. Instead, sometimes challenge yourself to read first and then answer questions.
#6: Write a Summary After Reading
Here’s another one of my favourite postreading activities for English learners. After reading something, challenge yourself to write a summary of what you just read. For shorter pieces, 1-3 sentences can work quite well. Longer reading passages may require 4-6 sentences or a paragraph. The best tip is to write the summary in your own words instead of just copying from what you read.
#7: Work on Vocabulary Post-Reading
I recommend to my students that they keep a dedicated vocabulary notebook that they use for new words they’ve come across. For everything you read, choose 3-5 new words that you’ve found. Write down the following in your notebook:
- Translation to your first language
- The sentence you found it in
#8: Parts of Speech for a Post-Reading Activity
Challenge yourself with various parts of speech. Go back through the reading passage carefully, picking out all the words that fit into a certain category. For example:
- Past tense verbs
- Conditions (using if)
- Adverb types
- Proper nouns
#9: Write an Outline for an After Reading Activity
Here’s another one of my favourite post-reading activities to try out. If you read something more formal like an academic essay, it can be helpful to make an outline of it after reading. For each paragraph, write down the main idea in a few words. Then, take note of the supporting details in a few words under each of those main points.
#10: Even more English After Reading Activities
Some other activities you can do to improve your English reading are:
- Look for metaphors and similes. Choose one scene, and find all of the metaphors and similes. What two things are being compared in each?
- Choose 10 interesting words and make a new sentence with each one.
- Use a graphic organizer to organize the information from what you’ve read. How does it all connect to each other?
More Ideas for Teaching ESL Reading
Want to find out more about teaching reading skills to English learners? Have a listen right here:
Like this English Reading Tip? There are 70 More!
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 71 Pages - 05/02/2017 (Publication Date)
If you found this English reading tip useful, then you’re going to love this book on Amazon, 71 Ways to Practice English Reading: Tips for ESL/EFL Learners. This tip about using post-reading activities to improve your English reading skills is straight from that book. There are 70 more tips just like this one.
Are you hoping to improve your English reading skills? Maybe it’s for your career or education. Perhaps you want to be able to read an English novel that hasn’t been translated into your language yet. Maybe you want to travel more easily and confidently. Whatever the case, 71 Ways to Practice English Reading will help you reach your goal.
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There are a number of common questions that people have about post-reading activities. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What is post-reading?
Post-reading activities are ones in which students summarize, reflect or question what they’ve just read. They’re ideal for building reading comprehension and there are a number of different activities you can do.
What are follow-up activities for reading?
Reading follow-up activities are things like reading comprehension questions, examining the characters more deeply, writing the next chapter, etc. Basically, a follow-up activity can be anything that gets readers to examine and think about the reading text in a deeper way.
How can I plan a TEFL reading lesson?
There are a few simple steps you can follow to plan a TEFL reading lesson:
What are some pre-reading activities?
There are a number of pre-reading activities to consider using. Some of them include the following:
- Having students chat for a minute or two about the topic of what they’re going to read.
- Brainstorm some vocabulary related to the topic of the reading.
- Show a picture or headline and have students predict what will happen.
- Pre-teaching some grammar or vocabulary they might encounter.
More Post Reading Activities for ESL Students
Here are even more reading strategies and ideas for ell reading activities. Check out this short video below:
What do you Think about these ELL Postreading Activities?
What are your thoughts about these ESL after reading activities for adults? Do you think they’d improve your reading ability? Have you tried them out? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2022-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API