Thoughts on ELT, English and whatever else comes into my head
It seems very grand to say I am rebranding but Reverse Reading is no more. I realised the name is misleading as it suggests the focus is on reading when that is the exact opposite point I am trying to make. The focus is on speaking and conversation, the reading may never even get done.
The name comes from the genesis of the approach — instead of starting with a text and reading it, you talk about it first and turn a “conversation” lesson into an actual conversation lesson rather than reading followed by comprehension and reaction.
I had an inkling the message was not getting across with this Tweet from a user. This kind of feedback is essential in getting something right as it doesn’t matter what I think I mean, nor how attached I am to my little graphic for Reverse Reading (I really love that graphic). It only matters how people perceive it and, like with any product, you ignore that at your peril. User perception is your product. The creator’s perception is of zero importance the moment the product is live. If you have to explain or argue your point, you’ve lost regardless.
I am very clear in my mind what “Reverse Reading” is all about. But if other people get stuck on the word “reading”, or even if there’s only the risk they might, then I needed to make sure it is clearly about speaking.
I wracked my brain but the answer was staring me in the face and has been there all along. Destiny.
So it has become …
Graphics-wise I wanted to keep something of the idea from the old icon but two S’s didn’t mirror as neatly as two R’s, so I distorted one a bit. The colour change is entirely accidental! Net result is, Simple Speaking is a better name but the graphic is much less neat. Now I need to think of a genuine Reverse Reading method and I can re-use it. It can’t be hard to come up with something more interesting than comprehension questions, can it? I saw the British Council posted Mike Harrison’s reading task, actually called Reverse Reading. Maybe I can sell him my logo!
Anyway, the key thing is there have been three lesson materials out so far. Week 1 — China’s ending of the one child policy. Week 2 — Social media star Essena Neil’s quitting of social media, announced on social media in order to do another type of social media. And currently, Week 3 — Google cars.
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And for a book with 10 ready-made no-prep conversation lessons based on the Reverse reading/Simple Speaking approach, click here.