March 2023: Reading aloud – a useful or useless ELT activity for learners?

The sound of learners’ voices reading aloud echoes around language classrooms all over the world. Though an age-old technique, it undoubtedly has benefits even today. 

Some teachers, however,  integrate it into English language classrooms without questioning its purpose, its limitations or its genuine value. The effect of this partial understanding is to misplace and therefore misuse reading aloud. Vocalising a text is too often a poor use of classroom time, one which can actually be damaging for learners.

This session aims to guide teachers to a fuller understanding of how to exploit reading aloud effectively. Several practical approaches will be included to support teachers in transferring ideas into the classroom.

This webinar will encourage teachers to advance their own teaching, inviting them to examine their current practice. The rationale for reading aloud, as well as the inherent problems, will be highlighted. The session will provide several strategies for integrating this technique into practice effectively.


Fran has many years’ experience as an ELT author, test-writer, teacher and trainer. She holds a PGCE and MSc TEFL from Aston University and has worked in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia as a teacher and trainer for the British Council and International House. As well as providing in-house teacher training and tutoring on Celta and Delta courses, prior to Covid, Fran taught at Reading University, developing language and methodology skills of Chinese primary and secondary school teachers of English.

Fran Watkins

Sensations English lesson resources are great for today’s learners.

Sensations English was a finalist in the 2021 British Council ELTons award for Innovation in Learner Resources and won two British Council ELTons commendations! The first, for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, recognised the global and social range of our English learning content, covering contemporary issues and giving learners access to a wide range of issues and global English voices.

Secondly, we were the only winners of the British Council’s inaugural commendation for Environmental Sustainability and Climate Action! Our content covers such a diverse range of climate and sustainability content, opening learners’ minds to global issues and efforts to resolve them, giving learners the language to engage and raise their voices on this vital area of life.

How Sensations English works

Our lesson resources make equality, diversity and inclusion and sustainability a central element of language learning. We recognise learners as multi-competent speakers and multicultural citizens who are eager to share their ideas and engage with others on important topics in their lives.

The high-quality, global, news-based study resources take a person-centred approach, representing diverse cultures and identities across our seven learning themes. The wide range of video and article news reports includes interactive games and study tools which connect the issues with students’ language learning.

As all resources are graded at five levels (A2-C1), they make sometimes complex topics accessible to all learners. With Sensations English, it’s easy to explore language features and improve sub-skills using inclusive resources which also help to connect lessons to learners’ own situations and experiences. This helps learners to think about their own contexts and develop their own voices.