So what do I do? I decided to just go for the text I had planned, "A Global Language" from their textbook Tracks. What I really like about this book is that there is a "shortcut" to many of the texts, so that the weakest students can read a shorter version of the original texts. Today, however, I asked all the students to read the longer text and to use the method of paired reading when doing it. Paired reading is a fairly simple activity and I am sure most have used some kind of version of it at some point in their teaching career. To students sit together and take turns reading one paragraph each. When the first student has finished his/her paragraph, his/her partner has to repeat what the first one has just read. In this way, both students have to be active all the time, either as reader or as listener. I use paired reading a lot in my classes, and I strongly believe this is a good way of working with longer texts. The twist of the day was that I opened up for the students to speak in Norwegian, hoping that that would help them understanding the text.
By now all the students have been through the text twice, once by the paired reading, and once by listening to the text on CD. At the moment the classroom is all quiet and the boy (yes, there is only one boy in this class) and the girls are busy working on some of the activities to the text. The combination of activities from the textbook and from Track's web pages seems to be working fine, and it seems like the slow start this morning has turned into quite a productive working session after all. Indian summer has also come to this part of the country and the sun is shining. I am quite sure it will be a nice day!
Picture: "Early Morning Reading"