ESL and EFL teachers are always on the lookout for innovative ways to make lessons more engaging and tailored to each student’s needs. Now you can generate unlimited personalized reading comprehension texts and questions using an LLM (Large Language Model). But, as with all tools, there’s an art to using them effectively. Whether you’re familiar with LLMs or just starting out, this guide is here to walk you through the ins and outs of crafting the perfect prompts. Together, we’ll delve into the secrets of maximizing the potential of LLMs, ensuring your students benefit from rich, engaging, and relevant reading materials.
Making the Most of AI in the Classroom
As you embark on this journey, remember that like any powerful tool, there are techniques to harness its full potential. We’ve got some top-notch tips to get you started on the right foot.
- Precision is Key: AI responds to the clarity of your prompts. The clearer you are, the better the output. It’s all about framing the right question.
- Double-Check the Content: Always check the AI-generated content for relevance and appropriateness. Ensure it’s in line with your lesson’s objectives and suitable for your students.
- Customization: The beauty of AI-generated content is its adaptability. If it feels too complex or too basic, adjust the prompts or modify the output to your liking.
- Practice Makes Perfect: Familiarize yourself with the tool. The more you use it, the better you’ll become at getting desired results.
- Choose Your LLM Wisely: Each LLM has it’s own quirks. And they change rapidly but as of early October 2023, Claude 2 is a great choice if you want a free option. GPT 4 is the best so far but it’s $20 a month at the time of writing. Bing Chat is free and uses GPT 4 but it can be… unique.
Your Ready-to-Use AI Reading Comprehension Prompt Template
You’re all geared up to use AI, but where to start? Fear not! Here’s a plug-and-play template to help you streamline your requests. Simply fill in the blanks and let the AI work its magic.
For students at the [Proficiency Level] proficiency level aged [Age Range] in [Grade Level], please produce a [Length] text suitable for [Purpose of Material]. The material should focus on [Grammar and Vocabulary]. Include [Number and Type of Questions] for comprehension.
Or if you prefer some examples to get you started:
Example Prompt 1: For postgraduate students at the C2 level aged 24-30, a 700-word research abstract is requested for the purpose of class critique. The text should employ conditional sentences and academic vocabulary specific to the field of economics. Include 12 multiple-choice questions focusing on methodology and 3 essay questions for critiquing the conclusion. British English is the preferred language variety.
Example Prompt 2: For preschool-aged children at the A1 level between 4-5 years old, please create a 50-word nursery rhyme. The material is intended for circle time and should focus on rhyming words and basic shapes. Include 8 yes/no questions for comprehension.
Example Prompt 3: For senior citizens at a high intermediate level participating in an adult learning course, please produce a 300-word opinion piece for class discussion. The text should focus on phrasal verbs and vocabulary related to healthcare. Include 10 multiple-choice questions to identify the author’s stance and 5 open-ended questions to elicit personal opinions. American English is preferred.
If you are looking for more example prompts they are below the checklist.
Tailoring Your Prompt: A Handy Checklist
Want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your AI-driven reading comprehension texts? Look no further! Here’s a detailed breakdown of elements you might consider including in your prompt. Customizing your request ensures the content aligns perfectly with your students’ needs.
Target proficiency level (CEFR or other standard): First up, let’s match your students’ skills. Choose from levels like “A1” for beginners or “B2” for those feeling pretty confident. This helps the LLM find the right groove.
Age and grade level of students: Let the LLM know the age group or grade you’re working with. After all, a 10-year-old’s interests can be worlds apart from a teen’s. It’s all about keeping it relevant.
Purpose of material: So, what’s the plan? Homework, in-class reading, or maybe a little exam prep? Your choice here helps set the tone and depth of the content the LLM creates.
Grammar structures and vocabulary to focus on: Been focusing on certain grammar areas or vocabulary lately? Drop them here. The LLM will make sure they shine in the reading.
Genre: What’s your flavor of choice? Whether it’s a good story, a vivid scene, some enlightening facts, or a persuasive piece, the LLM has got you covered.
Length/number of words/sentences: How long are you thinking? Just a ballpark figure helps ensure the LLM stays within your ideal lesson length.
Interesting topics and themes: Any hot topics your students are buzzing about? Pop culture, sports, or maybe tech? The LLM can make the content something they’d chat about even outside the class.
Idioms, metaphors, and non-literal language: If you’re feeling adventurous and want some idiomatic zing, drop in some phrases. They add flair but remember, they can also up the challenge.
Types of reading comprehension questions: Let the LLM know what you’re aiming for. Whether it’s understanding the main theme, picking up the details, or drawing inferences, it’ll craft accordingly.
Format of questions: Your preferred style here: multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blanks, or something else? It’s all about blending seamlessly with your teaching approach.
Previous material to review: Anything from recent lessons that deserves another round in the spotlight? Here’s where it makes a comeback in the LLM’s creations.
Cultural background and context: A little insight into your students’ cultural background can go a long way. It ensures everything the LLM creates feels familiar and resonates just right.
Language Varieties: British? American? Australian? Giving the LLM a heads-up ensures the language style fits like a glove.
Examples of ideal texts and questions: If you have any all-time favorite texts or questions, share them! It’s a great way to guide the LLM towards your perfect content.
Ready-to-Go AI Prompt Inspirations for Reading Comprehension Texts and Questions
In need of a spark to light up your imagination? We’ve curated a selection of example prompts for creating reading comprehension texts, ranging from elementary level to postgraduate, to inspire you. Whether you’re drawing directly from these or using them as a springboard for your own ideas, they’re here to guide you.
Example Prompt 1: For beginner level (A1) students aged 8-10 in 3rd grade, create an in-class reading material. Focus on simple present tense and vocabulary related to family members. The text should be a short story about animals and friendship, approximately 200 words long. No idioms or metaphors, please. Include 12 multiple choice comprehension questions.
Example Prompt 2: For B1-level high school students aged 14-16, prepare homework material that hones in on past perfect tense and travel-related vocabulary. The text should be an informative article about famous landmarks, around 300 words long. Feel free to include a metaphor or two. Nine multiple-choice questions about the main ideas are preferred.
Example Prompt 3: Create a persuasive essay of 500 words for C1-level college students aged 19-22. The purpose is in-class discussion, focusing on subjunctive mood and social issues vocabulary. The topic is renewable energy. Idioms are encouraged. For questions, please include both 10 fill-in-the-blanks and 10 open-ended questions that require drawing inferences.
Example Prompt 4: For A2-level middle school students aged 11-13, design a 250-word dialogue for in-class role-playing. Purpose is speaking practice, and the focus is future tense and school vocabulary. No idioms or metaphors. Include 10 multiple-choice questions on details and 10 true/false questions for understanding the main theme.
Example Prompt 5: For adult learners at A1 level, prepare a 150-word email simulation for homework. Target present continuous tense and office vocabulary. The text should simulate a casual office update. Seven multiple-choice questions aimed at understanding vocabulary are needed. American English is preferred for this task.
Example Prompt 6: For students at the A1 proficiency level aged 5-6 in kindergarten, please produce a 100-word text suitable for a picture book. The material is intended for in-class reading and should focus on basic action verbs and color-related vocabulary. The genre should be a simple fable. Include 10 true/false questions for comprehension.
Example Prompt 7: For adult learners at the B2 level, kindly generate a 400-word news article designed for exam preparation. The material should concentrate on passive voice and vocabulary pertaining to politics. Include 15 multiple-choice and 5 open-ended questions aimed at evaluating critical thinking skills. British English is preferable for this task.
Example Prompt 8: Aimed at C1-level university students between the ages of 20-25, the request is for a 600-word scientific text that will serve as the basis for a class discussion. The text should focus on modal verbs and academic vocabulary, specifically in the context of artificial intelligence. Include 12 fill-in-the-blank questions for vocabulary and 3 essay questions for critical evaluation.
Example Prompt 9: For A2-level students aged 9-10 in elementary school, please create a 200-word poem suitable for a homework assignment. The focus should be on the simple past tense and vocabulary that pertains to nature. Include 15 multiple-choice questions to evaluate understanding of main themes and poetic devices.
Example Prompt 10: Geared towards B1-level middle school students aged 12-14, the requirement is for a 350-word ‘how-to’ article intended for in-class reading. The focus should be on imperative sentences and vocabulary related to hobbies, with an emphasis on cooking. Include 10 true/false questions for understanding main ideas and 10 multiple-choice questions for details. American English is desirable for this content.
Dive Deeper: Creative Reading Comprehension Activity Brainstorming
Reading is more than just understanding words on a page. It’s about interaction, engagement, and depth. So once you’ve got that AI-generated text, what next? Explore our array of innovative activities and projects to elevate your students’ reading experience.
Here is a sample prompt you can use to get some activities. Feel free to play around with it and adapt it to your needs.
- [Role & Purpose] You are an ESL/EFL content developer tasked with providing a detailed response to the following question or task:
- [Question/Task] Brainstorm different ways to interact with a text excerpt to improve reading comprehension, fluency, and the general English ability of students. This can include activities involving the text, projects based on the text, or any other creative ideas you might have.
- [Requirements] Please adhere to the following guidelines:
- [Format] Bullet point list with one sentence descriptions of each item.
- [Length] Fifteen items.
- [Tone] Friendly fun and creative.
- [Context & Examples] To help you craft your response, consider the following information:
- [Background] The text will be a short excerpt no more than 5 paragraphs. The text varies greatly in subject matter.
- [Evaluation Criteria] Your response should meet the following criteria:
- [Clarity] Organize your response in a logical and easy-to-understand manner.
- [Creativity] Provide unique activities, not the normal multiple choice questions.
Example response to the above brainstorming prompt.
- Have students rewrite the excerpt in their own words to check understanding.
- Turn the excerpt into a short skit and have students act it out.
- Create a timeline of events from the excerpt.
- Design a wanted poster for a character in the excerpt.
- Compose a letter from one character to another character in the excerpt.
- Illustrate the excerpt by drawing scenes from it.
- Make up comprehension questions for other students to answer about the excerpt.
- Summarize the excerpt in a tweet (280 characters).
- Develop a Venn diagram comparing two characters, places, or events.
- Craft a diary entry from the perspective of someone in the excerpt.
- Transform the excerpt into a comic strip with captions.
- Compose a new dialogue between two characters in the excerpt.
- Create an acrostic poem using keywords from the excerpt.
- Make a wanted poster for an object or place in the excerpt.
- Design a brochure to advertise the setting of the excerpt.