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How to teach reading
|Reading is a receptive skill. |
Sometimes students have the following PROBLEMS IN READING:
• Lack of vocabulary
• I need the dictionary all the time
• It is very slow
• Because it is slow the pleasure or interest is soon lost.
There are two types of reading:
INTENSIVE READING (FOR DETAIL) and EXTENSIVE READING (FOR PLEASURE).
Skimming (read quickly to get the gist of the passage), scanning (move eyes quickly over the text to locate a specific piece of information), main idea, context clues, and making inferences are the foundational skills necessary to develop your students as strong readers. Skimming and scanning are both "top-down skills”.
POSSIBLE ROUTE MAP FOR A READING LESSON
To make the process of reading more effective we should teach our students to use strategies, or techniques, that can help them understand and remember what they are reading.
Strategies that can help students read more quickly and effectively include:
• Introduction and lead-in. Before giving your student a text to read during your session, spend a few minutes talking about the general topic that the article or text covers. Our introduction may have been made quite easy by the warm up activity. We can ask the students to use some of the vocabulary they came up with in sentences and add any key vocabulary to the list. You may want to ask your student what he already knows or what he would like to know about the topic. Seeing a film, video, slide set, picture sequence, TV show in order to discuss, write, debate can a good idea too.
• First task (pre-reading). Previewing: reviewing titles, section headings, and photo captions to get a sense of the structure and content of a reading selection
• Predicting: using knowledge of the subject matter to make predictions about content and vocabulary and check comprehension; prediction from from illustrations, key-words, headlines), reading questions about the text.
2. While-Reading Activities
• Skimming tasks (check text against predictions, guess the title from the choice of 3 options, put events in the right order)
• Scanning tasks
• Tasks to focus on general meaning (answer the questions, make a sketch, fill out a form, find out which picture is being described, compare viewpoints)
• Tasks to focus on detailed meaning
• Vocabulary or grammar exercises, use of dictionaries)
• Paraphrasing: stopping at the end of a section to check comprehension by restating the information and ideas in the text
• Guessing from context: using prior knowledge of the subject and the ideas in the text as clues to the meanings of unknown words, instead of stopping to look them up
3. Post-Reading Activities
Follow-on task (role-play, debate, writing task, personalisation)
• Fill in or draw charts, maps, tables, outlines
• Expand, reduce or reconstruct the text
• Ask questions
• Match the information
• T/F statements
• Fix wrong information in a summary
• Write a summary, fill in a summary
• Report on reading from different frames (reporter, professional, editor, colleague)
• TRANSFORM THE TEXT (Students must transform the text in some way, for example:
4. Closing (reflection)
Specific ideas for reading tasks:
• Put these illustrations of the text in the correct order
• Put these cut-up paragraphs in the correct order
• Find words in the text that mean the same as the words in the list
• Read the text and find mistakes in the illustration
• Read the text and make a list of particular items
• Give a headline to each section of the article
• Insert the sentences into the text
• Discuss or write the missing last paragraph of the text.
EXTENSIVE READING (FOR PLEASURE)
EXTENSIVE READING activities:
• Do not always start at the beginning! Try jumping in at the middle and reading one page. Predict what happened before
• Create a situation totally different from the book and allow students to improvise
• Review the book for a TV programme. Meet the author, discuss and argue.
While students certainly need practice reading material in English, it is important that you include short speaking, listening and writing activities whenever possible in your reading lessons. The focus of the lesson may be on reading a particular passage but having a diverse lesson plan will enable students who are good at other aspects of English to still participate and feel confident in their abilities while working to improve an area they are weaker at.
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