This week in my Top Notch 1 book, we've been talking about appropriate clothes that you'd wear when traveling. There was an excellent reading about what to wear in Holland, Thailand and Egypt. It is actual information taken from real guide-books, which I always like. Real-life stuff.
The only problem was that the reading was a little difficult, probably bordering right on the edge of most student's abilities. However, doing an introduction of the concepts can help overcome this.
To start, I wrote on the board conservative and liberal. The students usually didn't know what they meant, so I had them look them up in their cell-phone dictionaries. I then had a short class discussion about some examples of conservative clothing (long-skirt/ dark suit) and liberal clothing (tight jeans/mini-skirts). Once they did that, I added some more words under each category that could be found in the reading, such as "modest" "anything goes" "long-sleeved" "open-toed shoes." I then left this on the board for the students to refer to throughout the activity.
Finally, I pointed out the pictures in the reading. Students usually fail to notice them. In this case, the pictures introduced 2 vocab points that were central. A Thai Temple, and an Egyptian Mosque.
I gave them a few minutes to do the reading, and encouraged them to use their cell-phones to look up words they didn't know. I wandered around the class answering questions. At the end, they closed their books and I did a mini-quiz, asking them 10 questions. Most groups got 80-100%. Success!