At some point or another, nearly every trainer must call upon a time-honored teaching technique: asking someone to read to the class. Whether it's an activity from a participant guide, a question, or a call-out, this can be a useful technique for getting learners involved and keeping them engaged. However, not everyone likes to speak in front of a group. People have a variety of legitimate reasons for not wanting to read aloud, such as dyslexia or feeling self-conscious about an accent.
So, how can you be sure you call on those who enjoy reading to the class and avoid calling on those who may feel uncomfortable?
If you've ever delivered an in-person training session, you probably know what a name tent is. It's a piece of paper training participants write their names on and fold up as a visual sign so everyone in the class knows what to call each other.
Here is the technique for using the name tent to your advantage when it comes to calling on individuals who like to read aloud.
- The first time you reach a point when you'd like someone to read aloud, pause and ask everyone to grab a marker or pen and their name tents.
- Explain that participants who are comfortable reading in front of the class should draw a pair of eyeglasses on their name tents, right next to their name. Emphasize that it's OK if they do not draw eyeglasses, because not everyone is a comfortable reader.
- Ask the participants to return their name tents to their table. Now when you need to call on someone, you can look around the room and focus on asking learners who have drawn eyeglasses.
For some individuals, reading aloud is a great way to absorb information. If they feel confident doing it, saying something instead of listening to it helps them remember. When learners put eyeglasses on their name tents, it's often a sign that they hope to be called on to read.