Using Reading Comprehension in Lessons

English as a Second Language Learners

Focused ESL student in hijab listening to lesson in classroom
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There are many reading comprehension and dialogue resources on this site (see list below). Each reading or dialogue contains the selection, key vocabulary and expressions and a follow-up quiz. These exercises are great for individual use on the internet. They can also be incorporated into a lesson plan to help focus on specific grammar or subject areas. The following lesson plan is a blueprint to using these resources for your classes.

Aim: Provide context for various grammar or subject areas

Activity: Reading / dialogue comprehension

Level: Beginner to intermediate


  • Decide whether you'd like to incorporate the reading / dialogue into the lesson or assign as homework.
  • As a class, review the key vocabulary section provided with each reading/dialogue. Make sure students understand this vocabulary. If they don't, ask them to explain it to each other or use a dictionary. As a last resort, explain the word or phrase to the class in your own words.
  • Ask students to read reading/dialogue. If you are using a dialogue, have students first read the dialogue and then pair up to practice reading the dialogue aloud. Have students switch roles and practice a number of times. Go around the class and help students with pronunciation, intonation and stress.
  • Ask students to do the quiz on their computer and keep track of their score.
  • Open up the exercise to discussion. Possible questions: What did you think of this reading? Can you give other examples of this type of situation and which phrases you would use? etc.
  • Key in on vocabulary by having students create a vocabulary tree. Ask students to add to this tree by working in small groups to find appropriate related vocabulary and phrases.
  • Take each key word or phrase and use in a variety of questions around the class. Encourage students to do the same in small groups.

Here is a list of dialogues/reading comprehension resources on the site to use with this type of lesson:

Beginner - Lower Intermediate

The City and the Country - Comparative form, as ... as

Interview with a Famous Actor - Daily routines, present simple

What's in Your Office? - Use of there is / there are, prepositions and office furniture vocabulary

What Were You Doing? - Use of the past continuous in combination with the past simple

The Oregon Weather Forecast - Use of the future with will for predictions, weather vocabulary

A Business Presentation - Use of the present perfect

An Interview - Superlative Forms

Introductions - Basic questions used when meeting someone for the first time.

Filling in a Form - Basic personal information questions (name, address, etc.)

The Meeting - Schedules, future plans.

A New Office - This, that, some and any with objects.

Cooking - Daily routines and hobbies.

A Great Workout - Abilities with 'can', making suggestions.

A Busy Day - Plans for the day, responsibilities with 'have to'.

Planning a Party - Future with 'will' and 'going to'


Business English

English for Medical Purposes Dialogues

Dialogues Focusing on the Service Industry

  • Cleaning Staff - Vocabulary and requests dealing with cleaning rooms and taking care of guests
  • A Drink at the Bar - Vocabulary and situations related to serving customers at a bar