Last Wednesday I delivered my first input session, which was on teaching reading. I think it went well. 😊

  1. Great timing.
  2. A range of interaction modes. Chatbox, turn on your mic, breakout rooms. Chatbox and breakout rooms worked great; turn on your mic, not so much. Only 2 candidates volunteered to talk/share.
  3. The structure was : 1)Eliciting beliefs about reading. I used the photo below from Gabriel Diaz Maggioli’s brilliant IATEFL 2022 plenary. 2)Interactive lecture with tasks, questions and breakout rooms (analysis, issues, suggestions). 3) Reflecting on any changes of beliefs at the end. It was interesting to hear transitions at this stage. 4)Takeaways and Q&A.

These pictures from Nuttall’s book are my favourite metaphor for top-down and bottom-up processing:

Wasilewski (2009)

And these are some quotes I found interesting and wanted to share with you:

Goodman has described reading as a “psycholinguistic guessing game” (1967) in
which the “reader reconstructs, as best as he can, a message which has been encoded by a writer as a graphic display” (1971:135).

Carrell and Eisterhold (1983)

More information is contributed by the reader than by the print on the page.

Carrell and Eisterhold (1983)

..any text, either spoken or written, does not by itself carry meaning. Rather, according to schema theory, a text only provides directions for listeners or readers as to how they should retrieve or construct meaning from their own, previously acquired knowledge.

Carrell and Eisterhold (1983)

.. a text does not contain a meaning which is waiting to be discovered by a reader. Meaning is only realized in the interaction between the text and the reader, the text has “meaning potential” (Halliday, 1979; Widdowson, 1979).

Liu (2010)

What about you?

Do you like teaching reading? Why/why not? How do you teach it? What books, quotes and metaphors have you found useful? Let me know in the comments!

You can also read Tiago Bueno’s blogpost on teaching reading and download his DELTA background essay here.


Carrell, P.L. and Eisterhold, J.C. (1988) “Schema theory and ESL reading pedagogy,” Interactive Approaches to Second Language Reading, pp. 73–92. Available at:

Diaz Maggioli, G. (2022) IATEFL Belfast Plenary: Reading the world and the word.

Liu, F. (2010) “A short analysis of the nature of reading,” English Language Teaching, 3(3). Available at:

Wasilewski, J. (2009) “Contemporary Understanding of the Reading Process and Reading Strategies Used by ESOL Learners While Reading a Written Discourse ,” Humanising Language Teaching.