Literacy: Functional Skills English, Follow and understand, Plan, compose and draft, Identify main points and detail, Rw/L1.2, Use reading strategies, Engage in Discussion
ESOL: ESOL Reading: text focus (comprehension), ESOL Writing: text focus (composition), ESOL Reading: word focus (vocabulary, word recognition, phonics)
Free tags: disability rights, Down's Syndrome, Equality and Diversity, inclusion
Context: Business & Money management, Employment skills & Public services
Level: E2, E3, L1
Resource type: Discussion points, Reading comprehension, Worksheet or assignment
A reading comprehension and vocabulary activity suitable for both ESOL and Literacy / Functional Skills. The activities are based on a BBC News article about John Cronin’s online business, John’s Crazy Socks. John, who has Down’s Syndrome, is a co-founder of the business, along with his father, Mark.
In the activity, there are six tasks – prediction, vocabulary, comprehension (reading for gist and detail), gap filling (missing headlines), discussion and writing (a social media comment).
When talking about language there are a number of things to look for:
- the literary devices an author uses, like similes and metaphors
- the emotive language - language designed to make the reader feel a certain way
- the connotations of particular word choices
- the types of words used in the text, eg dialect words, long and complicated words or short and straightforward words
- the types of sentences used, eg long or short, simple or complicated
Find out about the characters by looking closely at the words they use in dialogue. If they use long, difficult words, it might show how clever a character is (or thinks they are!).
Language also tells us a lot about the underlying ideas of a text. Words have two sets of meanings:
- denotations - their dictionary meaning
- connotations - the ideas they link to
For example, the word 'desk' literally denotes a table, but it has connotations of work and study.
Words can reveal a theme, such as death, or love, or create a particular mood in a scene. For instance, specific words and phrases might be used to create tension.