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Authentic immersive reading with social annotations

Hypothesis LogoReading comprehension is usually a good starting point for any language class. In a fully online or blended learning context the additional challenge is how to integrate reading comprehension in a meaningful and inclusive way in order to get advanced language students to practise it in preparation for speaking or writing practice.

I used the social annotation tool to actively engage the students with their reading. enables students to digitally annotate course texts – whether these are available in PDF format or as web pages. By means of this tool, students can also reply to the teachers’ annotations (e.g. with comprehension questions or Problem Based Learning prompts), see their classmates’ answers and react to them. They can also create their own annotations as a form of reflection, or simply  learn new vocabulary/terminology/phraseology.

The outcome was really successful.  Both the remote and in-class students seemed really engaged in their reading comprehension, reading + critical thinking, argumentation, and collaborative PBL clinical case discussions. It worked best in class as preparation for speaking practice, for the combined reading and writing practice, or as grammar revision. Students particularly liked the social interaction and how this practice led to effective formal language learning. is available to use in Blackboard, you will find it on the Build Content menu.  For guides on this, please visit our Hypothesi.s Hub.

For more information about how it works is available on the website.

Evaluation / Student Feedback

“The hypothesis app has been helpful in developing comprehension skills and justifying reasoning, as well as learning vocabulary and phrases from your classmates”.

“My learning has benefitted by seeing/learning new perspectives/arguments that I could see my other classmates making using, as this was very helpful to me”.

“It allows me to keep track of my work and see ways I can improve when comparing with my classmates answers”.

“ can help you enrich your vocabulary in context”.

“It is useful when translating texts or picking out words you do not know”.

  • Promotes interactive active learning through individual or collaborative annotation.
  • Enhances language reading comprehension and contextualized oral/written production.
  • Promotes model learning, language awareness, independent language learning and digital literacy.
  • Provides insightful feedback for learners and teachers alike.
Top Tips
  • Provide a clear guide and/or demonstration of the intended purpose of the tool in class, its benefits and how can be used by both teacher and students.
  • Carefully select the input texts/videos/audios around ILOs in such a way that the skills practised are interconnected and well sequenced.
  • Use text annotations in order to draw the students’ attention to sample writing, key words/concepts, terminology/phraseology and anticipated answers/hypothesis before reporting back to the class. Thus, we put emphasis on individual assimilation prior to the oral discussion of the text.
  • Provide individual or group feedback.


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School: School of Arts Languages and Cultures

Discipline: Languages

Academic: Ana Niño

Course: MEDN20120, MEDN40120 and ULSP51050

Cohort Size: 66

Themes: Teaching ideas, learning socially, enhancing learning with technology

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