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Natural Born Readers



Rupert Shortt teaches A-level English language and literature at City and Islington College in north London. At the beginning of the term he has to deal with some AS level students who fail to keep up with their reading of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Rupert and his head of department, Tony Fahy, discuss the problem in a mentoring session and Rupert decides to take a pro-active approach. In a follow up lesson he sends the non-readers to the library to catch up on their reading and then enjoys a rewarding and encouraging session with the remaining students.

At the end of the lesson Rupert sees each of the non-readers individually to get to the root of the problem. The issues that arise include:

  • Paid work taking priority over homework
  • Difficulties in understanding the text
  • Time management

Rupert negotiates a way forward with each of them and finds his patience pays off in the students' exam results.

Published : Jan 2006

15 mins


FE: Teaching for the Future


Secondary Teacher


Secondary English


Whole School Issues

Secondary Further Education


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